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Caminiti Rips Ump’s Strike Calls After Being Ejected For Arguing

Associated Press

Reigning N.L. MVP Ken Caminiti lashed out at umpire Greg Bonin, accusing the 12-year veteran of being “above the game.”

The San Diego Padres star was ejected by Bonin after striking out to end the sixth inning of Sunday’s game in San Diego, a 6-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs. Caminiti reared his head back in disbelief after a called second strike. After swinging at strike three from Mark Clark, Caminiti told Bonin: “You’re terrible,” and was tossed.

Caminiti said Bonin’s strike zone was “way too big.”

“I would just like him to look at his (videotape), that’s all, maybe evaluate it,” Caminiti said. “He’s not going to do that, I understand, because he’s above the game. The guy is just above the game and he’s going to be here for life and he can make any call he wants to make.”

Gordon headed for bullpen

Red Sox manager Jimy Williams will move Tom Gordon (6-9, 3.59) to the bullpen when the Sox activate Bret Saberhagen.

“Maybe we’re crazy. The last four games, Gordon’s pitched great,” Williams said. “It’s worth a shot. We feel we have the right guy. He wants to do it too.”

Saberhagen will pitch for the Boston Red Sox on Friday at Anaheim, his first start in the major leagues since Oct. 1, 1995.

Saberhagen, 33, sat out all of last season following shoulder surgery on May 28, 1996, then signed with Boston as a free agent.

The Red Sox have lacked an established closer since they traded Heathcliff Slocumb.

Phillips’ fate delayed

The Walt Disney Co. delayed any decision on the future of outfielder Tony Phillips until Angels officials can discuss his case with one of the doctors who examined him.

Team officials scheduled a conference call this morning with Dr. Robert Millman, who met with Phillips last week on behalf of the owners’ player relations committee.

Phillips, charged last week with felony cocaine possession, was examined by Millman and Dr. Joel Solomon, on behalf of the players’ union, and cleared Saturday to return. Although Phillips remains on the active roster, the Angels have forbidden him to play, a move the union has protested vigorously.

Jordan may sit out

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Brian Jordan, angry and in pain, said he’ll give his aching back another week or so before he decides whether to call it a season.

Jordan was in the lineup against the Atlanta Braves after taking daily treatment for his bulging disc. Back a week from his second stint on the disabled list, he hasn’t been close to returning to form, characterizing the pain as “agonizing.”

“My wife is pounding it in my head day after day. ‘Why are you still playing? You’re just going to hurt yourself and your career,”’ Jordan said.

Jordan said he was waiting for one of the team’s owners to tell him to stop playing and come back at full strength next year, but knew better.

“I’m the one who’s going to make the decision,” Jordan said.

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