al notebook

Mariners Manager Hargrove Suddenly Resigns

Monday, July 2, 2007

Mike Hargrove resigned as manager of the Mariners, saying his "passion has begun to fade" after 37 years in baseball even though his team is the hottest club in the majors.

He managed yesterday's 2-1 victory against visiting Toronto that extended Seattle's winning streak to eight games, then yielded to John McLaren, his bench coach. McLaren's first game will be today at Kansas City.

"There are no dark, sinister reasons for this decision. This has been my decision," the 57-year-old Hargrove said about 90 minutes before his final game with Seattle. "I have no reason

General Manager Bill Bavasi said that on a scale of one to 10 on being caught off-guard, Hargrove's departure was "an 11."

"We're not happy about this one bit," he said, while stating he was happy for Hargrove personally.

Hargrove's three-year contract with Seattle ends after this season. Until then, Bavasi said Hargrove will serve as an adviser to the team -- but only after Sharon Hargrove has some long overdue time with her husband.

"We've been married for 37 years. Gone together since junior high," she said, fighting back her own tears. "He's slept in his own bed four days in eight months. I don't know too many people who would sign up for that. And he's done that for 35 years."

ยท FIRED UP: Yankees reliever Scott Proctor has been struggling to put fires out of late, so he ignited one himself.

Proctor carried his personal game equipment out to the Yankee Stadium field long after Saturday's 7-0 loss to Oakland and set it ablaze on the gravel outside the New York dugout.

"It was all just a joke," Proctor said. "Just something I've done in the past."

Proctor, who said he couldn't remember if the fire worked when he was struggling in Class AAA, pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the Yankees' 11-5 loss to Oakland yesterday. He got a mixed reaction from the home crowd when he entered in the eighth.

Manager Joe Torre didn't sound like he had any plans to discipline him.

"It's his glove," Torre said. "I don't know where he got the matches. That may be ours."

-- From News Services

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