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A's third baseman Lansford announces his retirement

Oakland third baseman Carney Lansford, who came back from reconstructive surgery on his left knee to hit .262 and drive in 75 runs, announced his retirement Wednesday.

Lansford was in five AL playoffs _ one with California in 1979 and four with Oakland _ and played in the 1988, '89 and '90 World Series.

Lansford retires with a .290 batting average in 15 seasons.

"I accomplished everything I set out to accomplish," he said.

No debate conflict

President Bush, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot can rest easy. Their debate tonight will go on as scheduled.

Had Oakland beaten Toronto and forced a seventh game, it would have started at 8:37, and the debate in Richmond, Va., would have been moved up two hours to 7. Instead, the debate will begin at 9 as planned.

Doctor's diagnosis

American League president Bobby Brown, after reading the litany of playoff accomplishments by ALCS MVP Roberto Alomar _ .423 batting average, four runs scored, four runs batted in, two homers, five stolen bases and no errors _ added a few thoughts of his own:

"He hits from both sides. He's a .300 hitter. He can hit a home run, can put the ball down and bunt and advance runners. He catches the ball in the field, makes the double plays and he steals the bases. Any way he wants to beat you, he can do it."

Alomar also has hit safely in all 11 ALCS games in which he has played and has 20 hits in the two ALCS, both records.

A managerial first

Not only did Toronto become the first Canadian city to make it to the World Series, but the Blue Jays' Cito Gaston became the first black manager in the World Series.

"If no one brought that up, I wouldn't even think about it," Gaston said. "I just think about getting to the World Series. But I think it's great for the city and for minorities and for me and my family and kids. Everybody."

Gaston likes 4-man rotation

After all the debate about Gaston going with a three-man rotation in the playoffs, he was asked about his plan for the World Series. "I'm leaning toward four," he said, adding Jimmy Key to the Jack Morris-David Cone-Juan Guzman mix.

_ BRUCE LOWITT, TIMES WIRES

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