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Friday, July 23, 1999

Volleyball schedule avoids long Tuesday trips

PECOS, July 23, 1999 -- Five weeknight trips to El Paso were cut down to just one this fall for the Pecos Eagles' volleyball team, after a meeting of District 2-4A administrators on Tuesday.

With just two weeks to go before the start of preseason workouts, the District 2-4A portion of the Eagles' volleyball schedule had yet to be set, because of the adjustments made last year to accommodate Pecos' travel problems compared to their five district rivals.

All of the Eagles' road games last season in 2-4A play were on Saturdays, to avoid five midweek trips of between 175 and 220 miles. But when this year's schedule was sent out by the Clint Independent School District, it flipped the home and away dates, sending the Eagles to El Paso five straight Tuesdays in September and October, prompting Tuesday's meeting.

"All the coaches except for Fabens agreed to switch dates, that's why we have three home games in a row," Eagles' coach Becky Granado said.

Pecos will go to Fabens on Tuesday, Sept. 21, for their district opener, then head to El Paso Mountain View for the first of four Saturday road games on Sept. 25. The three straight home games will be on Oct. 5, 9 and 12, when they host San Elizario, Fabens and Mountain View.

The season starts for Pecos on Aug. 17 at Odessa High with matches against the Bronchos and Alpine Bucks. Granado said the Eagles will go back to the Monahans Sandhills Tournament the first weekend of the season, after going to the Ector County ISD Tournament in Odessa the past three years.

The Eagles' own Cantaloupe Classic Tournament will be held the weekend of Aug. 26-28, which will also be the only home matches for Pecos during pre-district play. Their only other home appearance prior to facing Clint on Sept. 28 will be the first of two pre-season scrimmages, scheduled for Aug. 13.

Senior League awaits sectional finals foe

PECOS, July 23, 1999 -- It's been three days since the Pecos Senior League All-Stars won the Region I western subsectional in Lubbock, but it will be another two days before they find out who their opponent in the sectional finals will be.

Pecos began subsectional play last Friday, and won the title on Tuesday with a 13-3 victory over Perryton. Meanwhile, the eastern subsectional just got underway on Thursday in Abilene, which is where Pecos is scheduled to go Monday for finals competition.

Abilene won the opening game of the eastern subsectional by a 9-3 score over Bowie, and will face the winner of Thursday's second game, between Allen and Southeast Arlington, this afternoon. No score was available for Thursday's second game.

The winner tonight will advance to the championship game, set for Sunday, and the winner there in the double-elimination tournament will face Pecos on Monday. If the eastern winner suffers a loss in the subsectional, it will carry over to the sectional final.

Pecos went through its subsectional undefeated. The winner of the sectionals will advance to the state tournament in Waco.

Baseball hires first replacement umpires


AP Sports Writer

NEW YORK, July 23, 1999 Signaling that it's prepared to let squabbling umpires depart, baseball hired 10 minor league umps to take their place later this season.

Commissioner Bud Selig and his top officials, in their first response to the umpires' mass resignations, decided Thursday to hire the Triple-A replacements, who had been working as vacation fill-ins.

They were notified they were being added to major league staffs on a permanent basis starting Sept. 1 Ï the day before the resignations of the current umps take effect.

The bickering umpires have split into two camps those for and against union head Richie Phillips. The faction backing him is mostly in the National League.

Some are having a hard time deciding whether to follow Phillips. For example, American League ump Greg Kosc resigned, withdrew the resignation, then quit again.

So far, 33 of the 36 NL umpires plan to quit, according to a count by The Associated Press, but only about half of the AL's 32 umpires plan to leave.

Umpires on each side have been pressuring their wavering colleagues.

"A lot of this is all posturing, negotiating tactics," said AL ump Tim McClelland, who hasn't quit yet, but says he intends to. "You have to take it with a grain of salt."

Baseball's decision to hire new umpires wasn't expected so soon.

"It's part of their strategy, but I don't know what their strategy is yet," Phillips said.

Meanwhile, 51 major league umpires held a conference call Thursday to discuss their position, NL umpire Bruce Froemming said.

"I think there's a lot more solidarity than there was two or three days ago," he said.

However, there were some umpires who think Phillips has to go.

"I am adamantly opposed to this kind of leadership," said the AL's Dave Phillips, who is no relation to the union head. "There are times when you pull out your gun, your mortar and go winner-take-all. But communication and negotiation are the most important ingredients we need."

Richie Phillips said he has been opposed by an AL faction that existed since before the 1995 lockout.

"They do not like me personally, do not like my style and believe I'm too confrontational a lawyer," he said. "The media is providing them with a forum. Fifty-five guys say Richie Phillips is the greatest thing that ever happened to officiating in any sport and has won battle after battle after battle for us since 1978."

The decision to hire the new umpires came after virtually every top baseball official went to Milwaukee to meet with Selig, a group that included NL president Len Coleman, AL president Gene Budig, chief operating officer Paul Beeston, executive vice president Sandy Alderson and five lawyers.

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