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Cubs hire Padres' Riggleman

Jim Riggleman joined the Cubs as manager Friday, teaming with old friend Ed Lynch in a new management team aimed at reinvigorating the struggling club.

In the past six weeks, the Cubs have hired a president, general manager and field manager. "We have our ducks in a row," president Andy MacPhail said.

Riggleman, manager of the Padres for the past two-plus seasons, was manager of the Padres' Triple-A Las Vegas team in 1991-92 when Lynch was San Diego's farm director.

"With Jimmy, I was familiar not only with his work ethic and honesty, but with his managerial style and success," Lynch said at a Wrigley Field news conference.

Riggleman, an off-season resident of Pinellas County, becomes the 12th Cubs manager since 1983. "I'm thrilled to get this opportunity," Riggleman, 41, said.

In other moves, the Cubs sent pitcher Hector Trinidad to Minnesota as compensation for signing MacPhail. Trinidad, 21, was 11-9 with a 3.23 ERA for Class A Daytona.

Padres promote coach

SAN DIEGO _ The Padres gave third base coach Bruce Bochy a one-year contract to manage the team.

The former catcher is expected to be an asset in dealing with the Padres' young pitching staff, one of its bright spots.

Bochy, 39, becomes the youngest manager in the NL. He takes over a team that was 47-70, the worst record in the majors when the strike started Aug. 12. He is the first former Padres player to manage the club.

"To me, the two most important factors were continuity, stability, and with the strength of this organization being pitching, someone who can handle a pitching staff," general manager Randy Smith said. "In my mind he's the best managerial prospect in the game."

Reds give Johnson a year

CINCINNATI _ Davey Johnson, who had the Reds in first place before the players' strike, will return as manager in 1995 and move into the front office for 1996.

Johnson signed a two-year contract extension that brings him back as manager next year. In 1996, he will be a special assistant to general manager Jim Bowden.

Johnson said going to the front office will allow him to help the Reds in the transition to a new management team on the field. He said he thinks the Reds are leaning toward making Cincinnati coach Ray Knight the manager in 1996. Knight, a favorite of team owner Marge Schott, was promoted to assistant manager and third base coach.

The Reds also hired Hal McRae as their hitting coach. McRae, 49, who played for the Reds, was recently fired as Kansas City's manager; he replaces Bob Boone, whom the Royals hired Oct. 7 as manager.

"I'm happy they're going to give me a chance to finish what we didn't get to finish this year," Johnson told WLW-AM.

Players file grievance

NEW YORK _ Players, invoking the triple-damage provision in the expired labor agreement, filed a grievance to gain free-agency for Jack McDowell, Jim Abbott and nine others.

The grievance filed against the 28 teams asks arbitrator George Nicolau to credit all major-leaguers on active rosters with service time for the 52 days of the strike. The union also asked Nicolau to order clubs to pay triple damages to the players denied free-agency and give those players the right to void any contracts they might sign with their current clubs.

Players need six years to qualify for free-agency, and Abbott and McDowell are among 11 players who need the strike time to reach the threshold. The pair were rejected by management's player relations committee when they attempted to file on Oct. 15.

Management lawyer Chuck O'Connor said owners may challenge Nicolau's right to hear the grievance, which would force the union to take its case to either the National Labor Relations Board or to court.

"Strikers don't render service during a strike," O'Connor said. "They withhold it. That's what a strike is all about." Other players denied free agency in the past week were pitchers Tom Gordon of Kansas City, Eric Hanson of Cincinnati, Greg Harris of Colorado, Gregg Olsen of Atlanta, Bob Patterson of California and Kenny Rogers of Texas.

Around the majors

Strike talks: W.J. Usery, appointed by President Clinton to mediate the strike, said he is optimistic of a settlement but warned against expecting one quickly. "If I accepted where we are today it would be impossible to get a settlement," he said at Georgia State in Atlanta. "I don't accept that."

White Sox: The team hopes to sign Julio Franco, who became a free agent after Chicago opted not to offer him arbitration.

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