Harrah benches slow Gonzalez

September 24, 1992|By Fort Worth Star-Telegram

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Juan Gonzalez, tied for the major-league lead in home runs with Oakland's Mark McGwire at 40, felt the wrath of Texas Rangers manager Toby Harrah and was yanked from last night's game in the second inning because of a lack of hustle.

Harrah, who has been upset because Gonzalez lets poor at-bats affect his defense, pulled his left fielder after he failed to catch Gene Larkin's soft line-drive single in the Rangers' 5-3 victory over Minnesota.

Harrah met Gonzalez in the dugout when the inning ended and proceeded to lash into him. When he was done, Gonzalez stormed off to the clubhouse and Jack Daugherty took over in left field.

According to witnesses, Harrah told Gonzalez, "You look tired, go up in the clubhouse and lie down."

Gonzalez tried to respond but Harrah told him "to get out of here" and that was the extent of the conversation.

Gonzalez, who is hitting .152 in his past 14 games, missed Tuesday's game because of a fever and body aches. He struck out in his first at-bat last night before the play in the second inning.

"I know he was sick and didn't feel well," Harrah said. "I watched him in his first at-bat and in the field and he still looked sick. I just told him he looked sick; go up in the clubhouse and rest a little bit."

Asked if Gonzalez should have caught Larkin's single, Harrah said, "Most left fielders catch that ball."

Harrah said he doesn't expect Gonzalez to miss more playing time.

"We'll see," Harrah said. "Hopefully he'll be 100 percent by Friday."

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