In yet another legal effort to keep their jobs, umpires sued baseball in federal court yesterday, asking for an injunction to keep 22 umps working.
In papers filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, the Major League Umpires Association claimed the 22 are being terminated against their will, and union head Richie Phillips said: "Permanent unemployment . . . is a virtual certainty."
"The leagues' refusal to retain the 22 umpires--fully a third of the umpire work force--threatens to complete the destruction of the union's effectiveness as a collective bargaining agent," Phillips said.
Baseball said the umpires aren't being fired, but that it accepted the resignations of the 22, effective after Wednesday's games, as a result of a failed mass resignation strategy the umpires embarked on after the all-star game.
The union filed a grievance against the American and National leagues late Friday, then went to court yesterday, saying they would be irreparably harmed if they are let go.
U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner scheduled a hearing for today.
Cancer Claims Shurmur
Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur, the architect of the Green Bay Packers' defense that dominated the league in 1996, died at age 67.
Shurmur was in his 20th year as an NFL defensive coordinator. He followed Mike Holmgren to Seattle in January when Holmgren was hired as the Seahawks' coach and general manager.
He returned to the Green Bay area for treatment of esophageal and liver cancer, which was found during a routine checkup in May. Shurmur died at his home in nearby Suamico.
Shurmur spent five seasons with the Packers and was instrumental in the team's run to consecutive Super Bowl appearances. He also served as a defensive coach with the Phoenix Cardinals, the Los Angeles Rams, the New England Patriots and the Detroit Lions.
Holmgren had assigned Shurmur's duties in Seattle to linebackers coach Jim Lind, who received Shurmur's endorsement.
Rhodes a Globetrotter
Former Maryland standout Johnny Rhodes is among seven new players on the Harlem Globetrotters roster. Rhodes, a 6-foot-4 guard who finished his eligibility at Maryland in 1996, joins his former classmate, forward Exree Hipp. Rhodes is the Atlantic Coast Conference's all-time steals leader with 344.
The Globetrotters begin an international tour in Puerto Rico Sept. 17 and start a North American tour in Orlando in late December. . . .
B.J. Armstrong, a guard who helped the Chicago Bulls win three NBA titles, rejoined the team. Contract terms were not released but Armstrong said earlier he had agreed to a one-year, $1 million deal.
U.S. Roster Announced
Sixteen members of the world champion U.S. women's national team, including Mia Hamm and Julie Foudy, will face Ireland Saturday afternoon in Foxboro, Mass., in the squad's first game since winning the Women's World Cup title in July. Missing from the lineup are midfielder Michelle Akers and goalkeeper Brianna Scurry. . . .
Four local players were named to the U.S. under-17 boys national team for its Sept. 8 international friendly against Jamaica in Kingston. Forward Abe Thompson (Fairfax Station), midfielder Kyle Beckerman (Crofton) and defenders Oguchi Onyewu (Olney) and Alexander Yi (Easton, Md.) were on the 19-player roster announced by the U.S. Soccer Federation.
SLOC Battles Gouging
Owners of hotels, homes and condos in Salt Lake City hope the 2002 Winter Olympics will bring a windfall in rental profits, while Olympic organizers have taken aggressive steps to discourage gouging.
The Salt Lake Organizing Committee already has locked up 19,000 of the 21,000 beds it will need for athletes, sponsors and others in 2002. In deals with scores of hotels and property managers in the past two years, SLOC has inked contracts limiting what Olympic visitors can be charged.
John Sindelar, director of accommodations for SLOC, said the committee has not yet considered contracting with private homeowners. He expects most of the 70,000 visitors who will come to the games each day to stay with family and friends.
The standard SLOC arrangement sets a rate about 50 percent higher than the properties charged at the peak of the winter ski season in 1997-98.
Forty-five of the lodge's 130 rooms have been claimed by SLOC at rates ranging from $750 to $1,350 a night.
CAPTION: Fritz Shurmur, Mike Holmgren's defensive coordinator in Green Bay and Seattle, died of cancer.