Pirates name Simmons as general manager
Ted Simmons was named Pittsburgh Pirates general manager yesterday, a job that comes with some hard decisions -- such as whether he should pay big bucks to keep Barry Bonds, Doug Drabek and John Smiley with the team.
Simmons, 42, replaced Larry Doughty, who was fired Jan. 6 after guiding the Pirates to consecutive National League East titles. Simmons, an eight-time All-Star catcher, had supervised the St. Louis Cardinals' farm system since 1988, when he retired from a 21-year playing career.
The Cardinals named Mike Jorgensen, 43, as director of player development to replace Simmons.
* Benito Santiago became the highest-paid catcher in baseball when an arbitrator awarded him a $3.3 million salary rather than the San Diego Padres' offer of $2.5 million. Santiago, who can become a free agent after the 1992 season, made $1.65 million in 1991. The salary tops the previous high for a catcher, $2,833,333, the figure Mickey Tettleton will average during his three-year contract with the Detroit Tigers.
* Hiroshi Yamauchi, president of Nintendo Co., sold 600,000 shares of the company's common stock for approximately $47.6 million to raise funds to purchase the Seattle Mariners, a Nintendo spokeswoman said. The shares represent approximately .4 percent of the company's outstanding shares. The shares were sold to four major Japanese financial institutions at the end of last month, the spokeswoman said. The bid has failed to attract support from major-league owners, who must approve any transaction.
* Outfielders Darryl Strawberry and Kal Daniels of the Los Angeles Dodgers met privately with general manager Fred Claire in an effort to clear the air after reports that the two outfielders were not on speaking terms. "I'd say it was a constructive meeting," Claire said after the 10-minute discussion in the Dodger Stadium trainer's room. "I think it was helpful, and it helps us move on. The main thing is to put it behind us."
Naval Academy senior Nick Marusich, the leading rebounder (6.5) and second-leading scorer (13.3), underwent jaw surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital and is expected to be out for several weeks. He received the injury in practice Tuesday night.
Dallas Mavericks center James Donaldson's recording of a private meeting after his brawl with another Dallas player has angered teammates who didn't realize their conversations were
taped. Donaldson said he secretly recorded the players-only meeting last week to keep an accurate record of what was said. "It's disappointing when you've got a private conference, a team meeting when things are supposed to be said in confidence," guard Rolando Blackman said. "It's gone too far. What is he going to do, record us on the team bus, too?"
* Eighty-two percent of children from ages 8-12 say they admire Magic Johnson despite the announcement he tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS. A study commissioned by Sports Illustrated for Kids said 90 percent of children surveyed said they knew Johnson was ill, with 54 percent saying he had AIDS and 46 percent saying he had contracted HIV.
Qualifier Arne Thoms of Germany upset top-seeded Ivan Lendl, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (9-7), in a first-round match at the Milan, Italy, indoor tournament. "I played the match of my life," said Thoms, 21, the world's 152nd-ranked player. "I didn't know how he played, but when I got on the court, I found I could play with him."
* Second-seeded Michael Chang advanced to the quarterfinals of the Volvo San Francisco tournament by defeating Michiel Schapers of The Netherlands, 6-4, 6-3.
* Anke Huber of Germany defeated compatriot Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, 6-1, 6-1, at the Nokia women's tournament in Essen, Germany.
Track and field
John Walker of New Zealand has retired from track, done in at 40 by a serious Achilles' tendon injury. Walker, a former record holder in the mile, competed on the international circuit for more than 20 years. Walker ran 129 sub-4-minute miles, with his fastest -- 3:49.08 -- coming when he was 30.
The Navy men's team, ranked seventh in the country, upset fourth-ranked Penn, 5-4, at the Naval Academy. Navy got wins from Jamie Slough, Casey Garwood, Andy McCartney, Al Sprenger and Mo Curran.