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Like minds Piniella, Bowa honored

Lou Piniella looked at Larry Bowa a year ago and saw a lot of himself in his third-base coach at Seattle. It turned out he was right: Both wound up with Manager of the Year awards Wednesday.

Piniella won the American League honor for the second time for leading the Mariners to a record-setting season, and Bowa won the National League award for keeping the surprising Phillies in playoff contention until the final three days of the season.

"I recognized he knew baseball," Piniella said. "I recognized that he had leadership qualities. As the season progressed, I even told him, "You should think about managing at the big-league level again and not be satisfied being a third-base coach.' "

Piniella, 58, and Bowa, 55, have similar intense styles, but Piniella has calmed down during 15 season as a major-league manager.

"I do have the intensity," Bowa said. "I think I've learned to bottle it up a little bit better than before. I'm still very intense. I'm not going to lie about that."

EXEMPTION CHALLENGED: Legislation was introduced in Congress to allow lawsuits against baseball when teams fold or relocate, and lawyers for players and owners agreed the union's grievance to save two teams will be heard next month.

Sen. Paul Wellstone, D-Minn., and Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., introduced the Fairness in Antitrust in National Sports Act, which would limit baseball's exemption from antitrust laws, created by a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

Meanwhile, former union leader Marvin Miller said he believes commissioner Bud Selig should resign because of a conflict of interest inherent in the contraction plan.

Miller, who turned the players association into one of the strongest unions in the country in the 1960s and '70s, said the Brewers stand to benefit directly in terms of attendance and television ratings if the Twins fold.

When Selig became baseball's full-time commissioner, he had his controlling interests in the Brewers put into a trust, and his daughter, Wendy Selig-Prieb, became president and CEO.