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Howe Improving After Motorcycle Wreck

From Wire Reports

Former New York Yankees pitcher Steve Howe, injured in a motorcycle crash this week near his Montana home, was hospitalized in stable condition Friday.

“He was in ICU (intensive care unit). It was critical,” said Sherrie Higgins, Kalispell Regional Hospital spokeswoman in Helena. “I don’t know how he made it.”

In a statement, Howe’s family said he lost control of his motorcycle Tuesday night when he hit some gravel on a paved road, and slid and hit a wire fence. The statement said, “Drugs or alcohol were not involved at all.”

Higgins said Howe was moved out of intensive care Thursday night. The family did not want the extent of his injuries revealed.

Davis ready for BP

Eric Davis of Baltimore has completed the first six weeks of chemotherapy following surgery for colon cancer, and he begins another round of treatments in two weeks.

In between, however, Davis is focused on baseball.

Davis returned to Camden Yards before Friday’s game against Minnesota, saying he will begin taking batting practice today. He remains hopeful of playing this season.

Hirschbeck denies racial slur

Umpire John Hirschbeck made no ethnic remarks when shouting at Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu, the American League concluded Friday.

Hirschbeck, however, did make profane comments to the pitcher during an argument Wednesday night at Anaheim, A.L. vice president Phyllis Merhige said. Yankees third baseman Charlie Hayes had claimed to teammates that Hirschbeck made a profane comment about Irabu’s nationality.

“He cursed at him but he didn’t imply any ethnic slurs,” Merhige said. “That’s for sure. If you talk to most Yankees, they’ll say he didn’t say what they originally accused him of saying.” She will discuss the situation Monday with A.L. president Gene Budig.

Realignment in doubt

Baseball’s radical realignment plan, which would have had 17 teams change leagues, has lost momentum.

Three people familiar with the deliberations told the New York Times that realignment strategists have turned to a series of less severe scenarios in an effort to gain approval for the 1998 season, it was reported today.

The radical plan is in trouble because half of the N.L.’s 14 teams have expressed opposition to it for a variety of reasons.

Dodgers demote Guerrero

The Los Angeles Dodgers sent rookie second baseman Wilton Guerrero to Triple-A Albuquerque, probably ensuring the end of the team’s streak of five straight N.L. Rookie-of-the-Year award winners.

Guerrero was hitting .291 with four home runs, 32 runs batted in and six stolen bases.

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