FIRED: As expected, the Padres fired Jack McKeon as GM. But they apparently will keep him on in another capacity because his contract runs through 1991 at $400,000 per year.

"Trader Jack" joined the team in 1979, became GM a year later and built the Padres' only pennant winner, in 1984.

NO MINNIE:

Commissioner Fay Vincent said the White Sox can't activate Minnie Minoso, 68, who wanted to become the first major leaguer to play in six decades.

"Obviously I'm disappointed but I accept and respect the decision," Minoso said. "Maybe the commissioner will let me play in the year 2000."

NONSENSE:

Cecil Fielder wants to go back to Japan, temporarily, but as of now the Tigers won't let him.

Steve Greenberg, the deputy commissioner of baseball, had named Fielder to an American team that will play eight exhibitions in Japan in November. Fielder's photo will grace the cover of the program.

But Tigers GM Bill Lajoie is angry that Greenberg didn't clear the plans with him. He says he'll decide whom Fielder can play for.

"I want to go," said Fielder. "I'll be upset if I don't get to go over something that's basically nonsense."

SEETHING:

Surgery for a broken finger, some harsh words from teammates and a mutilated figurine ended Tony Gwynn's season acrimoniously.

When he cleaned out his locker, he swore he wouldn't speak to teammates or media people all winter, and he added some just-plain swearing too.

The team said that it had learned a stadium worker had left the figurine depicting Gwynn. Gwynn had believed a teammate did it.

MOVES:

Oakland activated CF Dave Henderson from the DL. . . . Blue Jays sent RHP Steve Cummings, 26, to the Indians as part payment for LHP Bud Black.