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Coleman picked as president of NL

Published Oct. 6, 2005

Leonard Coleman, the head of Major League Baseball's marketing staff the past two years, was elected National League president Tuesday, replacing Bill White.

White's election as league president was considered a breakthrough following widespread criticism of baseball's lack of minority hiring in the front office. Coleman, like White, is black.

"I'm extremely proud of my African-American heritage," said Coleman, 45, a former semipro outfielder. "I'd like to think I was appointed, and Bill was appointed, based on leadership abilities."

White, 60, intends to retire to his home in Pennsylvania. Two years ago, he expressed frustration at his experience as league president, saying: "I deal with people now who I know are racists and bigots. I'm bitter. I'm mad."

White refused to comment Tuesday about his term. "It's Len's day," he said.

Coleman was hired by then-commissioner Fay Vincent in December 1991 as baseball attempted to deal with its low fan base among minorities. Coleman has worked to put baseball programs on black- and Hispanic-oriented television networks, and on inner-city baseball and softball programs.

Union chief begins tour

WEST PALM BEACH _ Negotiations on a labor agreement with baseball owners apparently will be difficult, and a strike later in the season is a possibility, players union chief Don Fehr said.

Fehr made his comments as he began his 28-team tour of training camps, meeting for nearly two hours with the Montreal Expos.

Fehr said they discussed the new television contract, antitrust hearings, revenue-sharing and the lack of a commissioner. Lesser issues, such as licensing and pensions, also were discussed.

The two sides haven't met formally since Jan.

25, 1993. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday in Tampa.

Around the leagues

Pirates: Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield's 1993 struggles carried over into his first 1994 appearance. Wakefield allowed three runs on one hit _ a three-run homer _ and five walks in two innings in an intrasquad game.

Marlins: Chuck Carr ended a three-day holdout. Carr, who left after Friday's workout because of a contract dispute, agreed to the one-year, $230,000 contract the Marlins offered before he left.

White Sox: Right-hander Jose DeLeon is out for three to six weeks with a torn knee ligament, incurred during fielding drills Monday. Scott Sanderson signed a minor-league contract and was invited to camp. The team also announced one-year contracts with 17 players on the spring training roster, including reliever Roberto Hernandez, who saved 38 games last season.

Mariners: Ted Power learned his right shoulder will require surgery for a torn anterior labrum, which may end the 39-year-old reliever's career. Power had 13 saves last season.

Red Sox: Frank Viola, coming off arm surgery, made his spring training debut and said he felt fine after 10 minutes of throwing batting practice.