Murray expected to sign with MetsFirst baseman Eddie...

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November 27, 1991

Murray expected to sign with Mets

First baseman Eddie Murray, the Los Angeles Dodgers' most consistent power hitter over the past three seasons, is expected over the past three seasons, is expected to sign a two-year contract with the New York Mets, possibly today.

"We have been meeting with the Mets on a consistent basis . . . and everything points toward a resolution in the near future," Ron Shapiro, Murray's agent, said yesterday.

"We have to talk again tomorrow [today] in order to cover clarification of several points," said Mets general manager Al Harazin. "If that can be done, we well might have something as a result."

The Mets are understood to have offered Murray a guaranteed package for two years and roughly $6 million. In all probability, it will include a provision for a possible third year.

Murray, who became a free agent when the Dodgers declined to offer him more than a one-year deal, has averaged 22 home runs and 93 runs batted in during his three seasons with the Dodgers. Murray, who started his career with the Baltimore Orioles, hit .260 with 19 HRs and 96 RBI in 1991.

* Less than 24 hours after the New York Yankees said they were going to pursue free-agent third baseman Steve Buechele, they abruptly reversed course and backed away.

On Monday morning, Yankees general manager Gene Michael invited the third baseman and his agent, Alan Meersand, to tour the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area this weekend. Late Monday night, he and Yankees chief operating officer Leonard Kleinman told Meersand to scrap the trip.

"I received a conference call with the Yankees, with Gene Michael and Leonard Kleinman," Meersand said. "Kleinman did all the talking. I want to stress that. Gene didn't say anything. And in the conference call I was told the Yankees want to delay the visit."

* Seattle Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan is expected to announce soon whether he will put the franchise up for sale. But even if he does, baseball officials and others say a move from Seattle in 1992 is highly unlikely.

* The Hagerstown Suns and Frederick Keys, both owned by the Maryland Baseball Limited Partnership, announced a joint ticket plan that will give fans greater flexibility in choosing games.

Under the plan, any box seat or general admission ticket purchased at one ballpark will be honored for general admission seating at the other. For example, a fan purchasing a 12-game bonus book through one club could use any of his or her tickets at either location. A season box seat holder with one club could use any leftover tickets by visiting the other stadium.

"We have a unique opportunity here in Maryland," said Maryland Baseball president Hugh Schindel. "We're one of the few organizations in the country that has two teams located so close to one another. It only makes sense to give our fans the chance to enjoy games at both places. They'll find that most of the time there is baseball nearby."

College basketball

A secret videotape of a UNLV conditioning class shows the school's basketball players apparently practicing defensive tactics and fast breaks a week before official practices were to begin.

The tape, publicly released for the first time yesterday by the University of Nevada regents, appears to clearly back up contentions by UNLV officials that the class was being used for early basketball practice in violation of NCAA regulations.

The taping itself has caused an uproar since it was disclosed earlier this month that UNLV legal counsel Brad Booke authorized it in an effort to either confirm or disprove allegations that practices were being conducted prior to the official Oct. 15 start of practice.

The tape in question, made Oct. 8 from an air conditioning vent above a university gym, clearly shows UNLV basketball players and assistant coaches running defensive drills without basketballs, at one point defending an imagined inbound pass.

NCAA regulations forbid coaches from instructing or running basketball formations, even without a ball, prior to the official Oct. 15 start of practice.

College football

Northwestern University football coach Francis Peay was fired after failing in six seasons to bring the Wildcats out of the lower echelon of the Big Ten.

In a brief statement, the university said it will not renew Peay's five-year contract, which expires Aug. 31, 1992.

Northwestern "is committed to winning in the Big Ten" and has already begun searching for the "best person available" to succeed Peay, said Bruce Corrie, Northwestern's athletics director.

He said the decision was made to fire Peay after Northwestern lost to Wisconsin on Saturday.

Peay, 47, compiled a 13-51-2 record during his tenure with the Wildcats.

* Gary Steele resigned as head coach at Penn after recording a 9-21 record in three years at the school that won six Ivy League titles in the 1980s.

Steele, whose Quakers were 2-8 this year, said he made the decision Monday.

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