In Sports from United Press International

Aug. 6, 2002 at 3:18 PM
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Ex-major leaguer found dead

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The body of Darrell Porter, a former major league catcher who was named MVP of the 1982 World Series while with the St. Louis Cardinals, was found Monday near a car in surburban Kansas City. Porter, who also played with the Royals, was 50.

The cause of death was unknown, but police said there was no evidence of foul play. The Jackson County (Mo.) Medical Examiner will perform an autopsy

Porter broke into the majors in 1971 with the Milwaukee Brewers, who traded him to the Royals after the '76 season. He was an All-Star twice in his four years with Kansas City. In his best season with the Royals, he hit .291 and drove in 112 runs in 1979.

He enrolled voluntarily in a rehab center in 1980 for chemical dependency, but signed with the Cardinals as a free agent before the 1980 season. When the Cards beat Milwaukee in seven games in the World Series that year, Porter, who had also won the MVP Award in the National League Championship Series, had eight hits, including a home run, and drove in five runs.

In 17 big league seasons, he hit .247 with 188 home runs and 826 RBI.

Baseball labor talks stepped up

NEW YORK, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Labor negotiators for Major League Baseball and the players association resumed their stepped-up collective bargaining talks Tuesday after a marathon Monday session opened a "crucial week" with what was described as "some progress."

Tuesday's day-long meetings were to be split by a conference call between the union hierarchy and baseball's 30 player representatives. The union will discuss whether they believe setting a strike date is appropriate.

Some player reps said a strike date would not be set on Tuesday's conference call, but Aug. 12 has been set aside for a full in-person meeting of the executive board; only five games are scheduled for that day.

Long discussions Monday were about the core economic issue of revenue sharing and both sides agreed to a package of non-economic issues that had been introduced by the owners last month. The package was the second resolved since negotiations resumed in earnest the beginning of June.

Denver drops veteran receiver

GREELEY, Colo., Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Long-time NFL wideout Rob Moore was looking for work Tueday after he was waived by the Denver Broncos.

Moore, in his 13th season out of Syracuse, was signed by the Broncos April 1, 2002, after being waived by the Arizona Cardinals Feb. 27. He has missed the past two NFL seasons because of a torn left ACL (2000) and a torn right hamstring (2001).

Despite his recent injury history, he was determined to make a comeback this summer, but missed a schedule practice on Monday after suffering a groin strain on Saturday. He may have seen the handwriting.

Moore, 33, has played in 153 games (150 starts) in his 12-year career. He caught 628 passes for 9,368 yards (14.9) and 49 touchdowns. But, he had been listed as Denver's fourth-string wide receiver in training camp.

Rocker apologizes for anti-gay remarks

DALLAS, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- Texas Rangers pitcher John Rocker had some more explaining to do after making what were described as anti-gay comments to patrons at a popular Dallas restaurant, the Dallas Morning News said Tuesday.

Rocker issued a written apology for his actions through the Rangers.

He said he was having brunch with his girlfriend Sunday afternoon at Breadwinners Café and Bakery when he was badgered and baited by nearby patrons. He said a group followed him outside and made an obscene gesture.

"At that point, I admit I was angry and said some things I probably should not have said," said Rocker. "But I wanted to make it clear their attentions were unwelcome."

However, Richard Garcia, who waited on Rocker and his girlfriend, said the ballplayer was not provoked by other patrons.

Rangers General Manager John Hart said this is a personal issue between Rocker and the others in the restaurant and the club will take no action.

In February 2000, Rocker was suspended for two weeks and fined $500 for making remarks critical of minorities, gays and others in a Sports Illustrated article.

Reds get Hamilton back,lose Dessens

CINCINNATI, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- The Cincinnati Reds, battling for the lead in the National League Central, activated righthander Joey

Hamilton from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

But, they will be without Elmer Dessens for a while.

Hamilton won 40 games for the San Diego Padres from 1996-98, but has just 18 victories since. This year, he is 3-6 with a 5.21 ERA in 16 starts for Cincinnati (58-52), which trails first-place St. Louis by two games in the NL Central.

The 31-year-old Hamilton had been on the disabled list since July 17 with a strained left hamstring. The same injury also had him on the DL from May 5-22.

Dessens was placed on the 15-day DL, retroactive to Aug. 2, with a strained right groin. He is third in the NL with a 2.67 ERA and is 7-5 in 23 starts this year.

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