While saying he regrets the firing of three radio station employees, Giants Manager Felipe Alou wouldn't back down yesterday from his condemnation of racially tinged comments directed at him and his players.

"I feel bad about people being fired," Alou said before a game against the Braves. "It wasn't my intention, but I didn't start it and I took a stand."

The Giants' flagship station, KNBR, fired talk-show host Larry Krueger, who ranted about the struggling team during his postgame radio show last week. He complained about too many "brain-dead Caribbean hitters hacking at slop nightly" and said Alou's "mind has turned to Cream of Wheat."

Krueger apologized and initially was suspended for a week without pay. The station announced in a brief statement Tuesday night that the host had been fired, along with program manager Bob Agnew and KNBR "Morning Show" producer Tony Rhein.

Tony Salvadore, KNBR's vice president and general manager, said the firings were related to "inappropriate comedy sound bites" played Tuesday morning during a discussion of Alou's recent interview with ESPN, in which he roundly criticized KNBR and Krueger. Alou resigned from his regular radio show with the station and warned his players to be on the lookout for racial prejudice in San Francisco.

* GRACE'S LANGUAGE: Diamondbacks television analyst Mark Grace is not likely to be disciplined by the team after he used multiple expletives Tuesday night during the broadcast of Arizona's game against the Marlins.

Team president Rich Dozer said Grace's language was regrettable and blamed an apparent faulty "talk-back" button connecting the visiting TV booth to the television truck at Dolphins Stadium.

After the game, speaking to reporters while in the elevator leading to the stadium's ground level, Grace said there was a period in the early innings when he wasn't aware his microphone was live because of the "talk-back" problem.

* SURGERY FOR THOME: Phillies 1B Jim Thome will have season-ending surgery on his right elbow next week.

The four-time all-star was placed on the 15-day disabled list July 1, his second stint on the DL this season. He hit .207 with seven homers and 30 RBI in 59 games this year.

-- From News Services