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Tuesday, December 15, 1998

Big pay demands keep Clemens in Toronto

AP Baseball Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Dec. 15 -- Edgar Renteria, Butch Huskey
and Brant Brown found new homes. And the Toronto Blue Jays
are going home -- without trading Roger Clemens.

The winter meetings produced more than a half-dozen deals
Monday, plus this juicy tidbit: Heisman Trophy winner Ricky
Williams was picked by Montreal in the major league draft,
though he may be headed to the Texas Rangers.

Yet there was absolutely no movement for another University
of Texas star athlete. Clemens is coveted by nine teams, and
the Blue Jays were planning to leave the Opryland Hotel

``There's no chance it will happen here,'' Clemens' agent,
Randy Hendricks, promised.

The big deal of the day came shortly before midnight when
the Florida Marlins traded Renteria, their All-Star
shortstop and hero of the 1997 World Series, to the St.
Louis Cardinals for three top prospects.

Also, the New York Mets traded outfielder Butch Huskey to
Seattle, the Chicago Cubs dealt outfielder Brant Brown to
Pittsburgh for pitcher Jon Lieber, St. Louis sent pitcher
Mark Petkovsek to Anaheim and Minnesota moved outfielder
Alex Ochoa to Milwaukee.

A couple of free-agent catchers signed -- Bill Haselman
with Detroit and Chad Kreuter with Kansas City.

In off-the-field activity, general managers made no change
to the playoff format. Some had been in favor of allowing
wild cards to face their own division's winner in the first

The New York Yankees, Houston and Cleveland remained at the
top of the list of teams pursuing Clemens, with Texas,
Colorado and the Mets also in the mix.

``All is quiet,'' said Blue Jays GM Gord Ash, who had
wanted to finish a deal for the five-time Cy Young winner at
the meetings. ``We've had a few minor conversations, not
anything of any significant substance.''

As is often the case, the World Series champion Yankees
remained a wild card. Owner George Steinbrenner likes
Clemens, but has not indicated whether he wants to give up
the necessary players and cash to complete a trade. The Boss
might make his intentions known by the weekend.

``In the end, when decisions have to be made, we'll make a
recommendation and he'll decide one way or another,''
Yankees GM Brian Cashman said. ``Sometimes he listens,
sometimes he doesn't.''

The Marlins acquired minor league pitchers Braden Looper
and Armando Almanza and shortstop Pablo Ozuna for Renteria,
23. The deal left Florida with just four players from its
25-man roster that won the championship last year.

``This is a deal we've been talking about for quite a
while,'' Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty said. ``We
think we got the No. 1 guy we wanted.''

Renteria ended the '97 Series with a two-out single off
Cleveland's Charles Nagy in the bottom of the 11th inning of
Game 7, giving Florida a 3-2 victory.

Renteria hit .282 with three home runs and 31 RBIs, and
also stole 41 bases. He fills the hole created July 31 when
the Cardinals sent shortstop Royce Clayton to Texas.

Looper, 24, was the overall third pick in the June 1996
draft. Ozuna, 20, hit a league-leading .357, stole 62 bases
and was picked as the Midwest League player of the year, and
Almanza led the Carolina League with 36 saves in 1997.

The Mets, already one of the majors' most active teams this
winter, sent Huskey to Seattle for minor league pitcher
Lesli Brea.

Huskey, 27, hit .252 with 13 home runs and 59 RBIs last

``I was prepared for this, but it's still a shock,'' said
Huskey, who joined the Mets organization in 1990. ``They
made a decision and I was the odd man out.''

Huskey will play right field for the Mariners and take the
place of Jay Buhner, moving to first base because of a
surgically repaired elbow.

Brea, a 20-year-old right-hander, was 3-4 with 12 saves and
2.76 ERA in 49 games for Class A Wisconsin in the Midwest
League. He struck out 86 in 58 2-3 innings.

Reeves' returning pain fixed by bypass surgery

ATLANTA, Dec. 15 (AP) -- Dan Reeves recognized that burning
sensation in his chest and throat, but kept hoping it would
go away. He didn't want anything to distract from the
Atlanta Falcons' remarkable season.

Finally, after a couple of weeks of discomfort, the
54-year-old coach mentioned the symptoms to a team
physician. A day later, he was undergoing heart surgery.

Reeves remained in serious but stable condition today after
quadruple-bypass surgery. He was operated on Monday, one day
after the NFC West-leading Falcons defeated New Orleans
27-17 to equal the franchise record for victories in a

After spending the night in intensive care at Piedmont
Hospital, Reeves was expected to move to a private room
today. He probably will be discharged Friday and should be
able to coach in the playoffs.

Reeves had less serious heart procedures in August 1990 and
again five months later.

``He recognized it was probably the same problem,'' said Dr.
Charles Harrison, the team physician. ``But he didn't really
want to admit it because ... things are going so good.''

Minutes after the Falcons (12-2) beat the Saints on Sunday,
Reeves pulled Harrison aside in the Superdome locker room.

``He kept saying to me that he might be overreacting,'' the
doctor said. ``I told him he wasn't.''

Doctors stressed Reeves did not suffer a heart attack and
there was no permanent damage to the organ.

``We're very optimistic,'' said Dr. James Kauten, who
performed the four-hour operation. ``The function of the
heart is normal, he's a strong man and we think he's going
to do very well long term.''

Rich Brooks, the defensive coordinator and assistant head
coach, will be the interim head coach for Sunday's game at
Detroit. The Falcons, who have won seven in a row, can
clinch the division title and a first-round playoff bye with
a victory.

``We've got to rally around Dan,'' center Robbie Tobeck
said. ``Hopefully, we can get that first-round bye so we can
have Dan back on the sidelines in the playoffs.''

Reeves might be able to oversee some preparations for the
final regular-season game against Miami on Dec. 27.

The Falcons have won 18 of their last 22 games after years
of mediocrity, including a 3-13 finish the season before
Reeves was hired in 1997. The team earned its earliest
playoff berth, just the sixth in its 33-year history.

Brooks was a head coach for two years with the St. Louis
Rams before joining the Falcons.

``We're talking about a guy who has meant everything to this
organization,'' Brooks said. ``Hopefully, people will start
to recognize it and respond to this team and what Dan has

``He's just tough as nails and won't say anything to
anybody,'' running back Jamal Anderson said.

``Dan has a passion for coaching just like most coaches,''
said New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who
played for Reeves from 1993-96. ``Most of them would
probably like to fall out right there on that sideline, so
it doesn't surprise me that Dan was coaching under those

Reeves has been in good health, and his most recent heart
scan in February showed no problems.

Harrison said the stress of coaching may well be responsible
for his heart problems. Fellow coaches Bill Parcells and
Mike Ditka also have had heart trouble.

``I don't envy him, having been there,'' said Parcells,
coach of the New York Jets. ``That's a big operation, a
very, very difficult convalescence period. It taxes you

Brooks will remain in the coaches' booth Sunday and focus on
defense, though he will oversee some offensive calls.
Quarterback coach Jack Burns will call the plays, relaying
signals to offensive coordinator George Sefcik on the

Reeves is the NFL's winningest active coach and eighth among
all coaches with a record of 160-117-1. He took Denver to
three Super Bowls during the 1980s.

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