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Ex-Bucs GM Brown dies

TUESDAY, AUG. 17, 2010

Joe L. Brown, the general manager whose shrewd trading and expert rebuilding of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system resulted in two World Series championships, died after an extended illness. He was 91.

He died Sunday in Albuquerque, N.M., the team said. Less than two months ago, he attended a reunion of the 1960 Pirates.

“As the architect behind the 1960 and 1971 World Series teams, we were honored that Joe was able to return to Pittsburgh in June to help us celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1960 team,” team president Frank Coonelly said in a statement. “The ovation he received prior to the game was a special moment for Joe and his family.”

Brown, the son of famed comedian Joe E. Brown, succeeded Branch Rickey as the Pirates’ general manager following a last-place season in 1955. He stayed on the job through 1976, a span in which the Pirates won the 1960 and 1971 World Series and five N.L. East titles after division play began in 1969.

Brown traded for 1960 Pirates standouts Don Hoak, Smoky Burgess, Bill Virdon, Harvey Haddix, Dick Schofield and Vinegar Bend Mizell and brought in manager Danny Murtaugh, who led them to both World Series wins. .

K-Rod done

Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has a torn thumb ligament in his pitching hand sustained during a fight with his girlfriend’s father at Citi Field and will need surgery that will sideline him for the rest of the season.

“Obviously I’m disappointed, discouraged, frustrated,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “When you get this kind of news it’s … we’ve just been through a lot. We seem to continue to have difficulties keeping things from — having these type of injuries or these type of setbacks. Every year it seems like we get a little something here or there.”

Rodriguez was suspended for two days without pay following the fight outside a family room at the ballpark last Wednesday.

Clearing the bases

Baltimore Orioles reliever Jason Berken is probably done for the season after an MRI determined the right-hander has a torn labrum and inflammation in his pitching shoulder. The Orioles recalled right-hander Rick VandenHurk from Triple-A Norfolk to fill the void in the bullpen. … The Oakland Athletics activated Conor Jackson from the 15-day disabled list and recalled Travis Buck from Triple-A Sacramento.


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