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Ball goes on auction block Monday

10/12/2004

San Francisco Giants: Barry Bonds' 700th home run ball will be up for sale beginning Monday.
The ball will be placed on an auction site at Overstock.com from
Oct. 18-27, with bids beginning at $1, said Daniel Horowitz, the
attorney for the man who ended up with the historic blast at SBC
Park.
Steve Williams got the ball after a scramble in the left-center
bleachers. Timothy Murphy has sued Williams, saying he should get
the ball because he had it locked behind his knees while at the
bottom of a scrum before Williams swiped it.
A judge refused to hold up the sale, freeing Williams to sell
it. Attorneys for Murphy said they are continuing with their suit.
Bonds on Sept. 17 became the first member of the 700-homer club
in 31 years, joining Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron. He now has 703
career home runs, trailing only Ruth (714) and Aaron (755).

Cleveland Indians: The Cleveland Indians declined to pick up Omar
Vizquel's $5 million contract option for next season, making him
eligible to become a free agent when the World Series ends.
"This step is a mere formality and does not impact the process
in re-signing Omar Vizquel," Indians general manager Mark Shapiro
said Tuesday. "It does not lessen our hope or desire in bringing
Omar back."
The 37-year-old shortstop has said he wants to return for a 12th
season in Cleveland, but the Indians are targeting a starting
pitcher.
The Indians will pay Vizquel's $1 million buyout and could sign
him to a new deal or enter salary arbitration with him by Dec. 7.
Shapiro last week called bringing back the widely popular
Vizquel "a long shot."
The team doesn't want to lock into any contracts because it
wants to look at the free-agent market and has some pending salary
arbitration cases, including one with second baseman Ronnie
Belliard.
Vizquel hit .291 with seven homers and 59 RBIs this season. He
also scored 82 runs, stole 19 bases and had no errors over the last
55 games.
Shapiro also wants a veteran middle infielder and said it was
unlikely he would start the season with Jhonny Peralta at shortstop
together with Brandon Phillips at second base.
The Indians could offer salary arbitration to Belliard, who had
a strong first season in Cleveland, or Shapiro said his coaching
staff feels third baseman Casey Blake could shift to second.

Cincinnati Reds: Left-hander Mike Matthews and right-hander
Aaron Myette chose free agency Tuesday rather than stay with the
Cincinnati Reds, who took them off their 40-man roster.
Matthews was 2-1 with a 6.30 ERA in 35 relief appearances for
the Reds. He had surgery July 6 to remove bone chips from his
elbow.
Myette had an 8.31 ERA in five relief appearances for the Reds.
He was one of the top relievers at Triple-A Louisville, saving 19
games with a 2.89 ERA.

Pittsburgh Pirates Right-handed pitcher Nelson Figueroa was unconditionally released Tuesday.
The Pirates bought Figueroa's contract in August from their
minor-league affiliate in Nashville, where the 30-year-old went
12-8 with a 4.19 ERA in 23 starts. With the Pirates, he was 0-3
with a 5.72 ERA in 10 games -- including three starts.
Figueroa has played in 74 major league games with Arizona,
Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. He has 33 starts and is
7-17 with a 4.65 ERA.