Deal could put Gooden No. 1 on salary list
Dwight Gooden and the New York Mets are on the verge of agreeing on a three-year contract extension that would assure Gooden of earning at least $15 million, Newsday and The New York Times reported today.
The New York Daily News went further, saying the three-year deal is for $16.2 million, or $5.4 million a year, thus assuring that the 26-year-old pitcher's contract would be worth more annually than that of the Boston Red Sox's Roger Clemens, currently baseball's highest-paid player at $5.38 million.
Only Clemens and Gooden would have contracts valued at $5 million or more per year. Clemens signed a four-year contract extension this off-season for $21,521,000.
General manager Frank Cashen and vice president Al Harazin used the phrase "on the verge" to describe the talks.
* All-Star first baseman Will Clark of the San Francisco Giants, hitting .433 this spring, was struck at the base of his right thumb by a one-hopper hit by the Chicago Cubs' Mark Grace in the fourth inning. X-rays were negative. His condition will be evaluated today.
* New York Yankees general manager Gene Michael, angered by newspaper reports quoting unnamed pitchers critical of catchers Jim Leyritz and Matt Nokes, called closed-door meetings Friday and Saturday to recommend that pitchers not openly discuss their teammates in this manner again.
* Atlanta Braves first baseman Nick Esasky, who has been sidelined by vertigo, has been sued for divorce. Vicki Suzanne Esasky, 30, filed a divorce petition in Cobb (Ga.) Superior Court on March 20.
* Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott was released from Jewish Hospital in Cincinnati after fighting off a severe infection. A hospital statement said Schott, 62, was admitted with cellulitis, a skin infection of the legs, and that the disease developed into a bacterial infection that could have killed her.
* H. Wayne Huizenga, prospective owner of the National League expansion club that would play at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, said he is partial to the nickname Panthers and the aqua and orange of the National Football League's Miami Dolphins.
Marc Pisciotta pitched a three-hitter and Carlton Fleming drove in the deciding run on an infield hit, as Georgia Tech (22-8, 5-1) took a 3-2 decision from Maryland (11-12-1, 2-6) in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Bequest tied a world record for 1 1/4 miles on turf in taking two-length victory over Noble And Nice in the $216,400 Santa Barbara Handicap at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif. The 5-year-old mare went 9 furlongs in 1 minute, 57 2/5 seconds to match the course and world mark set by Double Discount in 1977.
* Michel Lachance became the third harness driver to record 6,000 wins when he guided Caesars Jackpot to victory in the ninth race Saturday night at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J. Lachance joins Herve Filion, 51, who has nearly 13,000 wins, and Carmine Abbatiello, 54, who has more than 7,000.
Butch Miller of Coopersville, Mich., held off Jimmy Hensley by a car length to win the Mountain Dew 500 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series race at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Miller Barber celebrated his 60th birthday with a four-shot victory over Lee Trevino in the Grandslam Seniors Golf Championship in Kurimoto, Japan.
Stephen Roche of Ireland, the 1987 Tour de France winner, won the Criterium International in Avignon, France.