Players rumored to throw games; league investigating

Updated: December 4, 2006, 2:10 PM ET
Associated Press

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Dominican baseball officials were investigating rumors that players on a winter league team took money to throw games, the league president said Monday.

The announcement came four days after pitcher Pascual Coco and outfielder Enmanuel Sena were dismissed by Santo Domingo's Escogido Lions amid allegations the last-place team was intentionally losing games.

Lions officials denied the rumors and said the two were let go because they weren't producing for the team.

An investigative committee was set up by the six-team winter league -- whose rosters are filled with Dominican- and U.S.-born major league stars -- to interview players, fans and betting houses in the Caribbean nation, league president Leonardo Matos Berrido said.

"Seeing what baseball means for the public, we can not let the image of this sport deteriorate," Matos told The Associated Press.

The roster of the Santo Domingo club includes Chicago White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe and Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Wilson Betemit.

Four U.S. minor league umpires recently quit the Dominican league after one of them was threatened with a gun. An investigation conducted by Major League Baseball ruled the threat was an isolated incident, Matos said.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press