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Herzog: Cards stacked deck against Torre

Former Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog says his successor, Joe Torre, did not get a square deal.

Torre, who was fired June 17, had a record of 351-354 in four full seasons and parts of two others with St. Louis.

"I don't think it was very fair to fire him the way they did," Herzog said. "He didn't have the starting pitching. They signed a free-agent pitcher (Danny Jackson) and he didn't have a win in nine games. That's not the manager's fault."

Herzog, who managed the Cardinals from 1980 to 1990, lives in St. Louis. He doesn't like what he sees of the current team.

"Overall, the club looks dead," Herzog said. "You take your 3-4-5 guys out of the lineup and that puts an awful burden on (Brian) Jordan and (Ray) Lankford. Who is going to drive in the runs?"

Since last season, the Cards allowed No. 3 hitter Gregg Jefferies to leave as a free agent, traded cleanup hitter Todd Zeile to the Cubs and dealt No. 5 hitter Mark Whiten to Boston.

Herzog said the team is no longer built for Busch Stadium, especially since the fences were brought in and lowered a few seasons ago.

"With the little ballpark they've got today, unless you've got a couple of tonkers in the middle of the lineup, it's going to be tough to win games," Herzog said.

Strawberry goes long for Yankees

TAMPA _ Darryl Strawberry, facing live pitching for the first time since signing with the New York Yankees, hit a 400-foot home run.

The homer, one of two Strawberry hit in a simulated game at the team's minor-league complex, landed on the roof of a shed beyond the rightfield fence.

Facing teammate Scott Kamieniecki, Strawberry began 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. In his sixth at-bat, Strawberry hit a hanging curve. He finished 4-for-11 against Kamieniecki, in Tampa to rehabilitate the elbow he injured in May.

"After seeing these (rookies), that's an awesome sight," Yankees pitching coordinator Nardi Contreras said of Strawberry's drives.

Strawberry may play today against Detroit's rookie club in Lakeland.

Cardinals: Pitcher Danny Jackson is scheduled to be activated off the disabled list to start tonight's game in Houston.

Twins: The team purchased the contract of Greg W. Harris from Class A Fort Myers. He makes his first start tonight.

Players of week: Hideo Nomo of Los Angeles was named NL player of the week and Edgar Martinez of Seattle was named the top AL player.

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