Sports digest 12/12/01

Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Players, owners continue negotiations

BOSTON -- Players and owners failed Tuesday to finalize an agreement that would delay eliminating teams until at least 2003, and the meetings were scheduled to resume after an overnight break.

The union's grievance to block contraction remained on hold. The hearing was to have resumed Tuesday before Shyam Das, but the arbitrator was kept waiting until late afternoon, when talks were put off until Wednesday.

The sides met in person several times and it was possible they would talk by telephone Tuesday night.

"Talks will continue," management negotiator Rob Manfred said.

Herzog agrees to become Red Sox coach

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox manager Joe Kerrigan told Monday that Whitey Herzog has agreed to be his bench coach next season.

Kerrigan said he met for five hours with the former major league manager last week in Philadelphia.

"At the end of the day, he shook my hand and said 'Joe, I'd like to have the job," he told

The Web site said the Red Sox are waiting for Herzog to return from a skiing trip to sign a contract. Team spokesman Kevin Shea, however, would not confirm it.

"Nothing is finalized yet," Shea said late Monday night. "We hope it's going to work out. He's a very experienced baseball man."

Herzog, 70, managed the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals. He was offered the manager's job in Boston before Jimy Williams was hired before the 1997 season.

Giambi takes physical for Yankees

BOSTON -- Jason Giambi's contract with the New York Yankees moved closer to completion Tuesday when the first baseman took a physical for the team in Tampa, Fla.

In a deal that was finalized, the Yankees received a signed copy of manager Joe Torre's three-year contract extension, which he mailed to the team from Las Vegas, where he is vacationing.

Giambi's trip to Florida was another step in the slow process of finalizing a seven-year contract approaching $120 million. A lawyer familiar with the negotiations said the deal could be finalized by the end of this week.

Reds, Tigers swap Young, Encarnacion

BOSTON -- Cincinnati and Detroit traded outfielders Tuesday, with Dmitri Young going to the Tigers and Juan Encarnacion heading to the Reds.

Cincinnati also picked up 23-year-old reliever Luis Pineda in the deal, which was announced at the baseball winter meetings.

Young hit .300 or higher in each of his last four seasons with the Reds, batting .302 with 21 homers and 69 RBIs in 2001. He became the first player traded away as part of the Reds' move to keep their payroll down.

"It's very rare that you get a chance to acquire a .300 hitter, much less one that's done it for four years in a row," Tigers general manager Randy Smith said.

The Reds had the second-lowest payroll in the NL Central last season -- $45.2 million on opening day -- and plan to keep it in the same range this season. Young made $3.5 million last season and was one of 11 players eligible for arbitration.

The Tigers feared that Encarnacion, who hit .242 with 12 homers and 52 RBIs last season, was taking a step backward from the year before, when he batted .289 with 14 homers and 72 RBIs. Despite the raw talent that could make him a star, he didn't take instruction well and his fielding was spotty.

-- From wire reports

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