Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Struggling White Sox fire hitting coach Ward


Baseball notebook

The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Gary Ward was fired as hitting coach of the struggling Chicago White Sox and replaced by Greg Walker.

Ward's dismissal came late Sunday night after Chicago lost three straight games at Minnesota, scoring six runs in the series.

Ward was hired two years ago after Von Joshua was fired. The White Sox are hitting .249 this season, 12th among the 14 AL teams, and are batting .232 with runners in scoring position. They have scored 173 runs in 43 games.

At 20-23, they began Monday third in the AL Central, five games behind Minnesota.

"We felt the need for a change and a different voice in an effort to get our offense jump-started," general manager Kenny Williams said.

Walker has been the hitting coach for the White Sox's Triple-A affiliate at Charlotte.

TWINS: First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz will not go on the disabled list after spraining his left ankle over the weekend. Mientkiewicz was to stay behind in Minnesota for three days of treatment when the Twins traveled to Oakland Monday night to begin a six-game road trip, team spokesman Mike Herman said. Herman said Mientkiewicz will join the team at its next stop in Seattle.

Mientkiewicz injured his ankle during Sunday's win over the Chicago White Sox. He was hurt when he stepped on infielder Joe Crede's foot while trying to retreat to third base in the second inning.

PHILLIES: Reliever Rheal Cormier appealed the $750 fine he received for throwing two inside pitches at Toronto pitcher Roy Halladay in a March 26 exhibition game.

Cormier is scheduled to meet with Bob DuPuy, baseball's president and chief operating officer, at the commissioner's office in New York today on Tuesday.

Cormier drew a warning after the second inside pitch to Halladay, who had beaned Phillies slugger Jim Thome the previous inning. Cormier has denied throwing at Halladay and blamed it on pitching out of the windup for the first time in at least six years.




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