In test of aching toe, Finley stumbles, then pitches OK American League notes

March 23, 1992

Pitching in his first "A" exhibition game of the spring, California Angels left-hander Chuck Finley tested his sore toe with mixed results against the Seattle Mariners yesterday.

He retired the first six batters he faced, then gave up three consecutive hits and was removed from the game.

Finley stumbled on the mound while taking his first warm-up pitch, bringing pitching coach Marcel Lachemann, manager Buck Rodgers and both Angels trainers out to the mound in a hurry.

Finley lost his balance only because the slope of the mound was different from that of the bullpen mound, Rodgers said.

Finley, 18-9 last season, is scheduled to pitch another three innings Thursday. If all goes well, he probably would start the Angels' fourth game of the regular season, the manager said.

"But it all depends on him having no setbacks with the toe," Rodgers said. "It was a little scary to see him stumble out there. But he came back OK."

* BLUE JAYS: Local television was on hand, as were ESPN and NTC several radio stations. The stands were filled, too, despite threatening weather. All this for a spring training game between Toronto and Boston. But it was Jack Morris vs. Roger Clemens.

Clemens put in a better showing, working five innings and leaving with a 4-2 lead. But Morris, who gave up four runs in four innings, would have none of the regular-season hype being attached.

"It doesn't mean anything. It means get your work in, have some fun with it," said Morris. "It's not a live situation. It's a tester is what it is. It's a spring training game."

* TIGERS: Bo Schembechler took the Detroit president's job for two reasons: because pizza magnate Tom Monaghan, a friend, asked him to, and because it was a job he always wanted.

But Schembechler, who arrived in Tigers camp over the weekend, said the job quickly turned into a nightmare for many reasons:

* Schembechler was the point man in the unpopular firing of broadcaster Ernie Harwell.

* He made a fiery speech before the Economic Club of Detroit, detailing the club's need for a new stadium. But the speech was viewed by many as arrogant bluster. Voters recently said "no" to the use of public money for a new stadium.

* As the image of Monaghan continued to slip with the public, which viewed him as a spoiled rich man, Schembechler's public image also eroded. Monaghan then said the team was for sale.

"Well, I had no anticipation any of this would happen, or I would not have come on board," said Schembechler, the longtime University of Michigan football coach.

Schembechler said he doesn't know when the team might eventually be sold, nor what the price might be. The price is reportedly in the range of $125 million. Schembechler said he might leave after the club is sold.

* YANKEES: Owner George Steinbrenner, who was ordered to give up day-to-day operation of the team in August 1990 by commissioner Fay Vincent, attended yesterday's exhibition game between the Yankees and Phillies in Clearwater, Fla. -- as a fan.

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