San Francisco Giants owner Bob Lurie said yesterday a plan to build a privately funded downtown stadium that would guarantee the National League club would not move to another city before next season had been abandoned.
Lurie said in a prepared statement that he and developer Peter Stocker have "regretfully concluded that we are unable to structure a financing method for the construction of a downtown baseball stadium that works for both the developer and the ballclub."
Lurie said he would not comment on what impact the announcement would have on the future of the Giants in San Francisco. The team owner has pledged that his team will not return to blustery Candlestick Park for another season. " . . . I will sit down with Mayor (Dianne) Feinstein this week to discuss this situation with her," he said.
"I was totally blindsided by this," Feinstein said. "But I have no intention of giving up. I'll do everything I have to, even go to court, to keep Bob Lurie and the Giants here." . . .
Yogi Berra, a Hall of Fame catcher and former New York Yankees and New York Mets manager, joined the Houston Astros as a coach, completing Manager Hal Lanier's staff . . .
Former major league umpire Bill Haller, who served as the American League umpire supervisor the last three years, has been dismissed by the league. Haller, 55, said he received a letter from league President Bobby Brown informing him of his firing. Haller speculated that the reason for his dismissal may have been his stand that the AL umpires had become too lax on the job . . .
As many as 200 major league baseball players, whose contracts come up this year, may have to decide whether to accept mandatory drug-testing in exchange for a guaranteed contract.
Catcher Steve Yeager of the Los Angeles Dodgers last week signed a one-year guaranteed contract with a one-year option and accepted the drug-testing terms. The guarantee assures a player will be paid whether or not he plays the full term of the agreement. In addition to the Dodgers, the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals, Montreal Expos and Philadelphia Phillies say they will be including the drug-testing clause in contracts offered this year.
The players' union has announced it will challenge the clause in Yeager's contract because "it represents another attempt to circumvent the collective bargaining process." . . .
Former major league pitcher Clay Carroll was listed in stable condition with gunshot wounds suffered in a family argument in Bradenton, Fla., that left his wife dead and son critically injured. Hospital officials have refused to say where Carroll, 44, was shot or what injuries he suffered. Carroll's wife, Fran, 53, was killed in the Saturday night shooting, and their 11-year-old son Brett remained in critical condition with at least one gunshot wound to the head, officials said. Carroll's stepson Frederick Nowitzke, 26, has been arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder, said deputy sheriff Steven Elsenheimer of Manatee County.