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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Shapiro agrees to 5-year extension with Indians- AP

Mark Shapiro has been the architect behind the reconstruction of the Indians. Cleveland is a young and very talented team that will be immenseley improved from last season. I expect the Tribe to compete for the Al Central crown.

By TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
March 15, 2007

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. (AP) -- General manager Mark Shapiro agreed Thursday to a five-year contract extension through the 2012 season with the Cleveland Indians, a team he has dismantled and rebuilt into a playoff contender.

Shapiro was only signed through this season -- his sixth as Cleveland's GM -- before working out a new deal with president Paul Dolan.

"We are extremely pleased with the leadership, direction, passion and pride Mark has instilled in the Cleveland Indians organization," Dolan said in a statement. "It's crucial for Mark to remain in this executive role to ensure the continued success of the Cleveland Indians franchise."

Shapiro's duties will remain the same. There had been speculation that his role with the club might expand.

Shapiro, who finalized the contract during spring training, had signed a two-year extension in 2004.

The 39-year-old Shapiro -- he'll turn 40 on April 3 -- has been the driving force behind the Indians' resurgence in the AL.

In 2002, with the Indians unable to contend and rebuild simultaneously, Shapiro traded top pitcher Bartolo Colon to the Montreal Expos for outfielder Grady Sizemore, pitcher Cliff Lee and infielder Brandon Phillips.

The deal signaled the beginning of Shapiro's massive reconstruction of the Indians, who had been one baseball's top franchises since 1995, winning six AL Central titles and two pennants under GM John Hart.

After winning only 68 games in 2003, the Indians jumped to 80 wins in 2004. The following season Cleveland went 93-69 but missed the playoffs when they collapsed in the season's final week. However, Shapiro was named baseball's top executive by the Sporting News.

The Indians were expected to contend last season, but a poor start coupled with baseball's worst bullpen resulted in a 78-84 record and fourth-place finish in their division.

This winter, Shapiro put off working on his own contract to rebuild Cleveland's bullpen and add championship-caliber players to compliment a roster of young stars like Sizemore, Travis Hafner and C.C. Sabathia.

Shapiro joined the Indians in 1992 as an assistant in baseball operations.

Updated on Thursday, Mar 15, 2007 12:58 pm EDT

Rose: 'I bet on my team every night'- AP

This case is just another blunder to add to the tarnished career of Pete Rose.

March 14, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -- Pete Rose bet on the Cincinnati Reds "every night" when he managed them and, despite his lifetime ban because of gambling, would like another chance in a major league dugout.

"I bet on my team every night. I didn't bet on my team four nights a week," Rose said Wednesday on "The Dan Patrick Show" on ESPN Radio.

"I bet on my team to win every night because I love my team, I believe in my team," he said. "I did everything in my power every night to win that game."

In a wide-ranging interview, the banned Rose said he thinks he should be reinstated because "I believe I'm the best ambassador baseball has." He hopes a new exhibit in Cincinnati is a sign baseball will soften its stance toward him.

If reinstated, the 65-year-old Rose said he would like to again manage in the majors.

The career hits leader also said he supported Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, who fell far short in his first time on the Hall of Fame ballot.

"Don't penalize McGwire because you think other guys are taking steroids," Rose said.

Rose finished his career in 1986 with 4,256 lifetime hits. He was managing the Reds in 1989 when he agreed to a lifetime ban after an investigation of his gambling.

The new Rose exhibit at Great American Ball Park includes more than 300 items and will be up for nearly a year. Major League Baseball had to give permission for the display.

"When you're in my position, you're happy with anything," Rose said.

Rose, however, said he would not be thrilled if a future reinstatement did not also include him becoming eligible for the Hall of Fame. Making it into Cooperstown, he added, was no longer on his mind.

"I quit worrying about it," he said.

Updated on Wednesday, Mar 14, 2007 6:56 pm EDT

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