Gene Lamont, the American League’s manager of the year two seasons ago, was fired Friday by the Chicago White Sox following the team’s miserable start.
The White Sox, with the fifth-highest average salary in the majors, were 11-20, the third-worst record in baseball, after being swept four straight by Cleveland, their biggest rival in the A.L. Central.
Terry Bevington, the team’s third base coach, was named manager. The White Sox, who finished first in last year’s strike-shortened season, are 10 games behind first-place Cleveland after beating Detroit 5-4 in 15 innings.
Lamont, 48, was in his fourth season as manager.
“I knew it was a possibility, but I thought because of what we accomplished the last two years I’d get more than 30 games,” Lamont said in a phone interview.
“That’s a little disappointing. But I enjoyed my time here. I had good players, good people. I loved Chicago and I wish I could have stayed.”
“I thought the series with Cleveland would give us a chance to get back into it,” White Sox general manager Ron Schueler said. “But it didn’t and I’m not going to let it slide anymore.
“If a team can’t get up for something like the Cleveland series, obviously I have to do something to change that atmosphere.”
The White Sox clubhouse was somber but businesslike after hearing the news.
“Gene didn’t hit a ball, throw a pitch or make an error this season but he got blamed for what happened,” two-time most valuable player Frank Thomas said. “I think Gene is a quality manager. They criticized his easygoing style, but he’s been a winner in the past.”
“I’ve got to be honest with you, the guy did a hell of a job,” said Detroit manager Sparky Anderson. “Knowing Gene, when Gene Lamont managed a game, he doesn’t ever show off,” Anderson said. “He doesn’t try to make you look bad.”
Bevington, 38, has been a White Sox coach for seven seasons.
Sele rests sore shoulder
Aaron Sele said his ailing right shoulder is getting better, and Boston Red Sox physician Arthur Pappas said the right-hander is more comfortable.
But Sele, who is suffering from tendinitis, will not be able to make his start Tuesday night. Pappas said there was no guarantee that Sele, formerly of Washington State, would make the next scheduled start after that one.
Clearing the bases
Toronto hasn’t had a three-game winning streak this year… . California is 4-0 against New York… . Opponents are 0 for 27 with runners on base against Oakland reliever Jim Corsi. … Milwaukee’s Kevin Seitzer had four hits in his first five at-bats after suffering a mild concussion when he was hit by a Scott Erickson pitch Monday against Minnesota… . Second baseman Chico Lind missed Kansas City’s game with Milwaukee and team officials were unsure of his whereabouts.
ChiSox 5, Tigers 4 (15)
Terry Bevington earned a victory in his debut as manager when Chicago scored two runs in the bottom of the 15th and beat Detroit.
Blue Jays 5, Indians 0
Al Leiter (3-2) pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, his third straight start without allowing a run, and Joe Carter homered twice as Toronto ended Cleveland’s winning streak at five.
Angels 3, Yankees 2
Chuck Finley (3-4) came within one out of throwing his second straight shutout against New York, working 8 2/3 innings and allowing four hits during California’s win.
Rangers 6, Twins 5
Rusty Greer’s two-run pinch-homer with two outs in the ninth gave Texas a win over Minnesota.
Orioles 2, Athletics 1
Kevin Brown (5-2) pitched eight innings of five-hit ball and Rafael Palmeiro drove in two runs as Baltimore handed Oakland its fifth straight loss.
Royals 3, Brewers 2
Kansas City, Mo.
Jon Nunnally and Brent Mayne homered as Kansas City beat Milwaukee for the fourth straight time.
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