Congress Calls On Fehr About O's-cuba Game

Posted: February 05, 1999

Members of Congress met with baseball union head Donald Fehr yesterday to seek his help in blocking a pair of proposed exhibition games between the Baltimore Orioles and a Cuban all-star team.

The lawmakers are among several who object to the games as "insensitive to the lack of human rights in Cuba," said Ivette Mendez, spokeswoman for Rep. Robert Menendez, D-N.J.

"They'd be playing and giving the world the view, `Hey, everything is OK in Cuba,' " Menendez said.

Menendez attended the 45-minute meeting with Fehr and Reps. Dan Burton, R-Ind.; Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla.; Rick Lazio, R-N.Y.; and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. Diaz-Balart and Ros-Lehtinen are Congress' only two Cuban-Americans.

The games were proposed after the Clinton administration decided in January to ease the four- decade-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba.

So far, negotiations on setting up the games have run into roadblocks. The Clinton administration wants any proceeds from the games used to help the Cuban people. Cuban officials say any profits should go to Cuban doctors doing hurricane relief work in Central America.

The original idea was for the Orioles to play in Havana in late March, with the Cuban team playing in Baltimore the following month.

In other news:

SIGNINGS: Relief deal

* Mike Trombley, who has become a stalwart of Minnesota's bullpen over the last two seasons, agreed to a one-year contract worth $1,475,000. That's a 247 percent raise over the $425,000 he earned last season (6-5, 3.68 ERA in 77 games).

* Detroit closer Todd Jones, who had one year left on his old contract, agreed to a three-year deal worth $10,125,000. Jones, 30, has saved 59 games for the Tigers over the past two seasons.

CORDERO: Charges dropped

Charges stemming from an altercation between Cleveland Indians outfielder Wilfredo Cordero and his wife's former husband were dropped after the two men reached an agreement, lawyers said.

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