The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer reports two of George Steinbrenner's lawyers claim he was forced to resign as managing general partner of the Yankees because he wouldn't help Commissioner Fay Vincent try to keep a criminal case from being tried.

Quoting a federal court transcript dictated by a lawyer for two part-owners of the Yankees, the newspaper reported that the lawyers are prepared to testify that Vincent didn't want gambler Howard Spira going to trial and hurting baseball's image.

The New York Times, meanwhile, reported that the chief criminal investigator for the IRS in New Jersey retired in 1988 and went to work the same week for Steinbrenner, who hired him to look for evidence that Dave Winfield's foundation was involved in fraud and misappropriation of money.

Robert J. Roche supervised almost every tax-related criminal investigation in New Jersey for 10 years. The Winfield Foundation's offices are in Fort Lee, N.J.

Roche denies the allegation and says Steinbrenner did nothing illegal.


The Kansas City Royals activated OF Bo Jackson and optioned P Luis Encarnacion to Omaha. Jackson, who hurt his left shoulder diving for a ball July 17 in New York, is to play today. The Royals hadn't planned to activate him until Tuesday but need right-handers to hit against the Mariners' left-handed Randy Johnson. . . . The Astros recalled outfielder Gerald Young from Tucson, where he hit .337.


Mariners reliever Mike Schooler, with 30 saves, threw only two pitches Friday night, then grabbed his arm and left the field. No diagnosis yet.