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Friday, May 25, 2007

Tigers' Outfielder Magglio Ordonez For AL MVP

By David

After running away with the AL MVP race in April and being one step away from having his name engraved on the award, Yankees' third baseman Alex Rodriguez is the not the clear cut favorite to take home the hardware.

Instead, Tigers' right fielder Magglio Ordonez is having a torrid month of May and is quietly distinguishing himself as the premier slugger in the American League. Through 45 games Magglio is hitting .361 with 12 home runs and 45 RBI's.

He ranks third in the AL in batting average, on base percentage[.441] and home runs, while he leads the majors in runs batted in and slugging percentage[.710]. Unlike A-Rod's team, the Tigers' are twelve games over .500 and lead the AL Central by a half game over Cleveland.

Ordonez, 33, is hitting .380 this month and in his last ten games he's batting .415 with seventeen hits, 11 runs knocked in, fourteen runs scored and five long balls. Yesterday against the AL West leading Angels he went 4-for-4 with three RBI's and three runs scored.

Hancock's father sues over pitcher's death

I understand what Hancock's father is trying to do, but at some point he must understand that his son was an adult and he needed to invoke so personal responsibility on his part. In no way should the restaurant be liable for the horrific events that ensued on the interstate.

By JIM SALTER, Associated Press Writer
May 24, 2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The father of Josh Hancock filed suit Thursday, claiming a restaurant provided drinks to the St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher even though he was intoxicated prior to the crash that killed him.

The suit, filed in St. Louis Circuit Court by Dean Hancock of Tupelo, Miss., does not specify damages. Mike Shannon's Restaurant, owned by the longtime Cardinals broadcaster who starred on three World Series teams in the 1960s, is a defendant in the case along with Shannon's daughter, Patricia Shannon Van Matre, the restaurant manager.

Other defendants include Eddie's Towing, the company whose flatbed tow truck was struck by Hancock's sport utility vehicle in the early hours of April 29; tow truck driver Jacob Edward Hargrove; and Justin Tolar, the driver whose stalled car on Interstate 64 was being assisted by Hargrove.

The Cardinals and Major League Baseball were not listed as defendants. In a brief statement, the Cardinals said, "We hope this matter will come to a swift and fair resolution for all parties involved."

Authorities said the 29-year pitcher had a blood content of nearly twice the legal limit for alcohol in his system when he crashed into the back of the tow truck. He was also speeding, using a cell phone and wasn't wearing a seat belt, Police Chief Joe Mokwa said after the accident. Marijuana also was found in the SUV.

Mokwa said Hancock went to Shannon's not long after the Cardinals played a day game against the Chicago Cubs on April 28. The lawsuit claimed that Hancock was a regular at the restaurant bar and was there for more than 3 1/2 hours.

"It's understood that for the entire 3 1/2 hours that Josh Hancock was there that he was handed drinks," Keith Kantack, a lawyer for Dean Hancock, said. "It's our understanding that from the moment Josh Hancock entered Mike Shannon's that night that he was never without a drink."

A person answering phones at the restaurant declined comment. A message left with Van Matre was not returned.

The lawsuit claimed Tolar was negligent in allowing his vehicle to reach the point where it stalled on the highway, and for failing to move it out of the way of oncoming traffic. A police report said the car became stalled when it spun out after being cut off by another vehicle.

Police said Hargrove noticed the stalled vehicle and stopped to help. The report said he told officers he was there five to seven minutes before his truck was hit by Hancock's SUV. But Kantack said the tow truck may have been there up to 15 minutes, yet failed to get the stalled vehicle out of the way.

"Were the police contacted?" Kantack asked. "Why weren't flares put out? Why was the tow truck there for an exorbitant amount of time?"

Tolar did not have a listed telephone number. Calls to the towing company were met with a busy signal.

Kantack said others could be added later as defendants in the suit. He declined to speculate on whether the Cardinals or Major League Baseball could be added to the suit, but said the Hancock family has been "overwhelmed by the support and respect the Cardinals have shown since Josh's passing."

Dean Hancock said in a statement that the "facts and circumstances" of Josh's death "have caused great pain to all of Josh's family." As administrator of his son's estate, Dean Hancock said he has an obligation to represent the family on all issues, "including any legal actions necessary against those who contributed to the untimely and unnecessary death."
Updated on Thursday, May 24, 2007 7:44 pm EDT

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