STEINBRENNER SUMMONED: Commissioner Fay Vincent has summoned George Steinbrenner to a hearing July 5 to answer questions about his dealings with Howard Spira, the Bronx man who reportedly received $40,000 last January from the New York Yankees owner.

Steinbrenner this week hired two criminal lawyers -- Stephen Kaufman and Dominick Amorosa, both former assistant U.S. attorneys in Manhattan -- in his effort to avoid possible disciplinary action. Vincent, meanwhile, has retained former deputy attorney general Harold "Ace" Tyler Jr., who at 68 is one of the most highly respected officials to ever serve with the Department of Justice.

GIBSON GONE? The Dodgers, who need a fifth starting pitcher, apparently have talked with the Tigers about the possibility of Kirk Gibson returning to Detroit, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing anonymous sources.

Dodgers Vice President Fred Claire said it is his policy to neither confirm nor deny names of players and clubs he may be talking with, but said having a fifth starter is "very important to me."

AWARD: Former Montreal Expos president John McHale is the 1990 winner of The Sporting News' Pioneer Award for retired baseball executives and contributors. McHale played a major role in helping Montreal obtain a National League franchise in 1968. He served as the organization's president and chief executive officer until 1986 and as deputy chairman through last year.