"She doesn't deserve that," says Scott. "She's an aggressive ballplayer who can help the team. For us there's no special treatment. If she gets the job done she stays with the club. If not, she's gone. Just like any other player."
Is Nothing Sacred?
Besieged by protests from a coalition of local residents concerned about noise and overcrowding, the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) has moved this week's 38th annual Manhattan Beach (Calif.) Open just down the coast to the adjoining community of Hermosa Beach. Some folks in the sport are taking it pretty hard.
"If the people of London or the people of Augusta, Ga., are influenced this way by some little group with a similar mentality, I guess we'll have to hold Wimbledon tennis or the Masters golf tournament someplace else next time," AVP chief executive officer Jerry Solomon fumed to the Los Angeles Times.
He was, of course, indulging in hyperbole. No one would seriously equate a bunch of suburban English grass courts or a few acres of scrubby Georgia pine woods with the hallowed sands of Manhattan Beach.
The news interrupted television programming in Japan on Monday. After a one-hour meeting with Central League president Hiromori Kawashima, Mike DiMuro, 29, the first U.S. umpire to work in Japanese baseball (SCORECARD, May 12), had decided to resign.
DiMuro's decision spoke volumes about the limited authority umps have in Japan relative to the U.S. His firm style had earned DiMuro the respect of his peers but also the wrath of managers and players not accustomed to being stood up to. That anger boiled over on June 5, when DiMuro, whose wide strike zone had irked many players used to a strict interpretation of the rules, ejected Chunichi Dragons slugger Yasuaki Taiho for complaining about a called third strike. Taiho responded by charging DiMuro and shoving him in the chest. Dragons coaches and players then spilled out of the dugout and swarmed around the 6'2" umpire. While they didn't strike DiMuro, he was visibly shaken by the mob.
A source in the Central League office says that when Taiho was merely reprimanded for the blow and no assurance was provided that stiffer measures would be taken against future acts of intimidation, major league baseball officials urged DiMuro to return to the U.S. Says DiMuro, "I hope that if anything comes out of this, it is that no physical assaults on [Japanese] umpires will be tolerated, and they will be able to do their jobs safely.