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An A's Series champ dies unexpectedly

Tony Phillips, who played 18 seasons, dies of a heart attack at 56.

Tony Phillips, who played 18 seasons, dies of a heart attack at 56.

PHOENIX — Tony Phillips, an infielder and outfielder who made the final defensive play in the Athletics' sweep of the Giants during the earthquake-interrupted 1989 World Series, died unexpectedly of an apparent heart attack Wednesday in Arizona.

Mr. Phillips, 56, played nine years for Oakland (starting out under Billy Martin), five years with the Tigers, two each with the Angels and White Sox and one year for both the Mets and Toronto.

His career highlight was fielding a ground ball hit by Brett Butler and flipping it to closer Dennis Eckersley covering first base for the final out of the Series.

"I am in total shock. Played golf with Tony Phillips last week he was driving the ball over 300 yards seemed so healthy and full of life," former A's slugger Jose Canseco posted on Twitter. "RIP Tony Phillips. My thoughts and prayers with your family at this tough time. Going to miss you."

Mr. Phillips was a career .266 hitter with 160 homers and 819 RBIs in 2,161 games. He continued to play because he liked the game, playing for the Yuma Scorpions in the independent North American League before the club folded in 2012. Last summer he played a few games for the independent Pittsburg (Calif.) Diamonds.

sabathia talks about rehab: Yankees left-hander CC Sabathia, who entered alcohol rehabilitation at the end of last season, was upbeat at the first workout for pitchers and catchers at Tampa's Steinbrenner Field. "It was a good experience for me, so far," Sabathia said of the rehab. "Looking back at it now, it's something I'm glad I did. Felt like I needed to get some help. Didn't feel good about where I was headed. I was just tired of being sick and trying to hide this thing." Sabathia plans to spend more time with teammates on the road, something he got away from. "I'm as sure as I can be right now I'm not going to allow myself (to drink again)," he said.

EX-GIANTS 3B DIES: Jim Davenport, a longtime Giants third baseman who managed the team and worked in the front office, died of heart failure Thursday in Redwood City, Calif. He was 82. Mr. Davenport was among the original San Francisco Giants after the franchise moved from New York after the 1957 season. He played in the 1962 World Series and won a Gold Glove that season.

CUBS: Former Royals reliever Aaron Crow agreed to a minor-league contract. The right-hander, 29, was an All-Star as a rookie in 2011. He is working back from Tommy John surgery, having last pitched in the majors in 2014.

Indians: Juan Uribe, the likely starter at third, agreed to a one-year, $5 million deal. Uribe, who turns 37 next month, played for the Dodgers, Braves and Mets last year.

PHILLIES: Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff broke his right thumb last week when it was hit by a ball from a pitching during bunting practice in Clearwater. He should be ready by opening day.

Rangers: Third-base coach Tony Beasley, 49, will have chemotherapy during spring training after being diagnosed with rectal cancer. GM Jon Daniels said the disease is in its early stages and is treatable. … The team guaranteed AL manager of the year Jeff Banister's contract through 2018 and gave him a raise.

AGENT ARRESTED: Florida-based sports agent Bart Hernandez was indicted on charges involving illegal smuggling of Cuban baseball players from the island to the United States. His attorney, Daniel Rashbaum, had no comment.

An A's Series champ dies unexpectedly 02/19/16 [Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2016 9:38pm]
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