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Saturday, October 22, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Baseball -- Bochy Named Padre Manager After Riggleman Jumps To Cubs

AP

SAN DIEGO - Hours after Jim Riggleman bolted for the Chicago Cubs yesterday, the San Diego Padres gave third-base coach Bruce Bochy a one-year contract to manage the team.

The former catcher is expected to be an asset in dealing with the Padres' young pitching staff, one of its bright spots in the post-fire-sale era.

Bochy, 39, becomes the youngest manager in the NL. He takes over a team that was 47-70, the worst record in the majors when the strike started Aug. 12.

"To me, the two most important factors were continuity, stability, and with the strength of this organization being pitching, someone who can handle a pitching staff," General Manager Randy Smith said.

"In my mind he's the best managerial prospect in the game," Smith said.

Bochy is first former Padre player to manage the club. He was third-base coach the past two seasons, during which time the ownership group stripped away most of the team's high-priced talent.

As a minor-league manager in the Padres' system, Bochy compiled a 248-241 in four seasons and won three championships.

"I think I started getting ready when I was a player," said Bochy, who spent parts of nine seasons in the big leagues, including five in the Padres' organization from 1983-87. "With my background as a backup catcher and the games I had to observe, I think I should have learned something about the game."

Riggleman, who had managed the Padres since late in the 1992 season, accepted a two-year contract from the Cubs. He wanted a similar deal from the Padres. The team, which is for sale, offered a one-year deal, with a club option.

That's the deal Bochy got.

"I'm very happy with a one-year contract," Bochy said. "I have confidence in my ability, and Randy and I and the coaching staff, we're going to . . . turn this thing around."

REDS REHIRE JOHNSON

CINCINNATI - Davey Johnson, who had the Cincinnati Reds in first place when the players' strike stopped the season in August, will return as manager in 1995 and then move into the front office for 1996, the team said.

Johnson, who had interviewed for Baltimore's managing job, signed a two-year contract extension that brings him back as manager next year. In 1996, he will be a special assistant to General Manager Jim Bowden.

Johnson expects the Reds to make Cincinnati coach Ray Knight the manager in 1996.

Knight, a favorite of team owner Marge Schott, was promoted yesterday to assistant manager and third-base coach.

Also yesterday, the Reds hired Hal McRae as their hitting coach. McRae recently was fired as Kansas City manager.

PLAYERS FILE GRIEVANCE

NEW YORK - Baseball players, invoking the triple-damage provision in the expired labor agreement, filed a grievance to gain free agency for Jack McDowell, Jim Abbott and nine others.

The grievance filed against the 28 teams asks arbitrator George Nicolau to credit all major-leaguers on active rosters with service time for the 52 days of the strike. The union also asked Nicolau to order clubs to pay triple damages to the players denied free agency and give those players the right to void any contracts they might sign with their current clubs.

Players need six years to qualify for free agency, and Abbott and McDowell are among 11 players who need the strike time to reach the threshold. The pair were rejected by management's Player Relations Committee when they attempted to file on Oct. 15.

Management lawyer Chuck O'Connor said owners may challenge Nicolau's right to hear the grievance, which would force the union to take its case to either the National Labor Relations Board or to court.

"Striking employees do not accrue rights and benefits under a contract which are dependent on, in this case, credited service during a strike," O'Connor said. "Strikers don't render service during a strike. They withhold it. That's what a strike is all about."

NOTES

-- Although the major leagues have not decided to expand, five groups seeking an expansion team will make presentations to baseball officials Nov. 1 in Chicago. The five include one each from Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix; St. Petersburg, Fla.; and two from the Northern Virginia area. Not picked for interviews were groups representing four cities outside the United States: three from Mexico and one from Vancouver, B.C.

-- The Chicago White Sox said they still hope to sign Julio Franco, who became a free agent when the team opted not to offer him salary arbitration. His agent said Franco wants to stay with the White Sox.

-- The Chicago Cubs sent minor-league pitcher Hector Trinidad to Minnesota as compensation for signing Andy MacPhail as Cub president. Trinidad, 21, was 11-9 with a 3.23 earned-run average for Class A Daytona this year.

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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