Saying he's the ideal man for the difficult job, New York Yankees players and coaches were elated -- even euphoric -- about reports that Buck Showalter soon would be named manager.
"That's beautiful," said second baseman Steve Sax. "They couldn't have made a better choice. Buck's an outstanding baseball man, a very hard worker and he knows the game."
There was no official announcement yesterday, and one isn't expected until after the World Series.
High-level Yankees front-office sources, however, confirmed Showalter has the job. One Newsday source said of reports in yesterday's New York newspapers saying the job was Showalter's: "Your stories were right on the mark."
Showalter, a coach for the Yankees before being released earlier this month along with four other coaches and manager Stump Merrill, was recommended as a candidate last week by managing general partner Robert Nederlander.
* ANGELS: The club announced it will not pick up the options on the contracts of outfielder Dave Winfield, who hit 28 home runs this season, and pitcher Bert Blyleven, who did not play in 1991 because of shoulder surgery.
Winfield's contract reportedly would have cost the Angels $3 million in 1992 and $2.8 million in 1993. His buyout cost $450,000.
* DODGERS: Vice president Fred Claire said the club will not make an effort to re-sign second baseman Juan Samuel, shortstop Alfredo Griffin or catcher Gary Carter -- all potential free agents.
* PIRATES: Board chairman Douglas Danforth won't give another team permission to interview manager Jim Leyland and soon may offer him a contract extension.
Pirates general manager Larry Doughty said last weekend that he would give the White Sox permission to talk to Leyland.
However, Danforth said it is up to him, not Doughty, to grant the permission to talk to Leyland, and that he would not give it.
* MARINERS: Pitcher Randy Johnson (13-10) underwent 45 minutes of arthroscopic surgery to repair damage to the area behind his right kneecap and is expected back by spring training.
* Raymond "Bobby" Coombs, a major-league pitcher in 1933 and Williams College coach for 28 years, died in Ogunquit, Maine. He was 83.