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Thursday, February 6, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Major League Baseball

Notebook: Another umpire suspended for harsh remarks

NEW YORK — Umpire John Hirschbeck received a 10-day suspension without pay for inappropriate use of language in a conversation with a Major League Baseball executive, Commissioner Bud Selig's office said in a statement yesterday.

Hirschbeck, president of the major-league umpires union, made threatening remarks to baseball labor lawyer Rob Manfred after MLB fired director of umpire evaluation Phil Janssen in a cutback, three baseball officials said.

Baseball said it will contribute the money from Hirschbeck's lost wages to the John Drew Hirschbeck Memorial Fund for Research on Adrenoleokodystrophy. John Drew Hirschbeck, the umpire's oldest son, died of the rare brain disease in 1993 when he was 8 years old.

The punishment came less than a week after umpire Bruce Froemming received a 10-day suspension without pay for making an anti-Semitic remark about Cathy Davis, an umpiring coordinator in the commissioner's office.

Baseball pulled Froemming from a season-opening series between Seattle and Oakland in Japan in March, and Froemming subsequently apologized.

Hirschbeck, 48, was involved in controversy in 1996 when former Baltimore second baseman Roberto Alomar spit in his face after being ejected for arguing a called third strike in a game at Toronto.

Notes

Hall of Famer Billy Williams was back home after being hospitalized in Chicago to adjust a heart monitor. Williams, 64, is one of the best players in Cubs history. He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1961 and a six-time All-Star.

The Chunichi Dragons started talks to release Kevin Millar after the team's general manager said it had given up trying to persuade the outfielder to go to Japan. The Dragons paid the Florida Marlins $1.2 million for the player's rights last month. The Boston Red Sox are hoping to sign Millar.

• Vicente Padilla, who made the All-Star team last year in his first season as a starting pitcher, signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Padilla will be paid $425,000 if he is in the major leagues and $196,000 if he is in the minors.

• The home stadium of the San Francisco Giants will keep the name Pacific Bell Park this season, even though Pacific Bell is now SBC Communications Inc. San Antonio-based SBC has long been known in California as Pacific Bell, but changed its name in December.

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