SHOT DOWN AGAIN:

For the second time in 2 1/2 weeks, a federal judge has upheld the authority of Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent, forcing a top New York Yankees official to appear at a disciplinary hearing today before the commissioner.

Following a two-hour hearing at Manhattan federal court, U.S. District Judge Leonard B. Sand rejected a request from Yankees Executive Vice President Leonard L. Kleinman for a temporary restraining order.

Kleinman wanted to stop Vincent's hearing on the club executive's relationship with self-described former gambler Howard Spira and his role in a $40,000 payment George Steinbrenner made to Spira in January.

Steinbrenner resigned as the Yankees' managing general partner Aug. 20.

Kleinman, who filed a $22 million suit Tuesday, claimed Vincent's hearing would be a sham because the commissioner was biased against him.

FOUL FAN:

Some fans wait their entire lives for a chance to catch a foul ball at a baseball game. Ron Vachon had two chances within 30 seconds Tuesday night -- and botched both.

In the second inning of Boston's game against Oakland, Roger Clemens of the Red Sox threw a pitch to Rickey Henderson. The ball caromed off Henderson's bat and headed into the luxury box section of Fenway Park.

The ball hit the back wall of the box, and the 38-year-old Vachon was ready when it ricocheted back. But the ball glanced off his wrist and dropped into the box seats below.

Vachon grinned sheepishly as the crowd booed. "I figured I'd never get another chance."

But Henderson fouled the next pitch to the same spot, this ball glancing off the roof of the box and then plopping into the hands of the amazed Vachon, who dropped it.

STATS:

San Francisco's Kevin Mitchell has hit at least one homer in each National League park the past two seasons. . . . Matt Williams's 102 RBI are the most ever by a Giants third baseman. Jim Hart drove in 99 in 1967.

ROSTER MOVES:

Texas announced left-handed pitcher Mike Jeffcoat, who has had back problems, has been activated from the 15-day disabled list. . . . Cleveland purchased the contracts of infielder Mark McLemore and outfielder Stan Jefferson from AAA Colorado Springs. Jefferson, formerly of Baltimore, hit .345 in 33 games with Colorado Springs.