Duncan Inducted into Dominican Hall of Fame

First base coach and former infielder Mariano Duncan, was inducted into the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony that took place yesterday at San Pablo House Auditorium in Santo Domingo. Duncan becomes the 93rd player inducted into the Dominican Sports Hall of Fame.

    In 1,279 Major League games, Duncan hit .267 with 87 homers, 491 RBI, and 174 stolen bases for the Dodgers, Reds, Phillies, Yankees, and Blue Jays over 12 seasons. While playing seven years for the Tigres de Licey in the Dominican League, the versatile Duncan hit .248 with 31 triples and 17 doubles in 180 games. In the ‘85-86 campaign, he led the Dominican League with eight triples. Duncan was inducted alongside longtime Cleveland Indians' infielder Felix Fermin and legendary scout Epy Guerrero.       

Duncan, 45, just completed his third consecutive season as the Dodgers' first base coach after one year coaching stints with the Gulf Coast League Dodgers (2003), Double-A Jacksonville Suns (2004) and Triple-A Las Vegas 51s (2005). The native of San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic saw action at all four infield positions and in the outfield during his 12-year Major League career and played four seasons with the Dodgers (1985-87, 1989).  

This fall, Duncan will serve as the bench coach for Los Toros del Este in La Romana, where several current Dodger prospects are expected to play for him.   

Duncan earned National League All-Star honors with the Phillies in 1994 and was a member of the World Champion 1990 Reds. Duncan was also a key member of Dodger Manager Joe Torre's first World Series winning team, the 1996 Yankees, batting .340 as the regular second baseman that season.     

Decline Option on Berroa
The Dodgers declined the 2009 option on infielder Angel Berroa of $5.5 million, choosing instead to buy him out for $500,000. Berroa, technically, remains under Dodgers control because he has less than six years service time and is not eligible for free agency.  

Berroa was playing under a four-year, $11 million contract from the Kansas City Royals signed during his second season that paid him $4.75 million in 2008.  

The collective bargaining agreement prevents players other than free agents from receiving a pay cut of more than 40 percent. That would mean for the Dodgers to keep Berroa, he would earn a minimum of $2.85 million, more than a utility infielder could command.  

He is eligible for salary arbitration but is most likely to be non-tendered a contract in December. He could re-sign with the Dodgers after that.  

The Dodgers still have option decisions to make on Brad Penny and Gary Bennett. Penny has a $9.25 million salary or $2 million buyout. Bennett has a $900,000 option or $50,000 buyout and is expected to be bought out. Penny's option must be exercised within seven days after the end of the World Series, Bennett 10 days after the World Series.  

Union Accuses MLB of Collusion
The baseball players' union says it has found evidence teams acted in concert against signing Barry Bonds but it reached an agreement with the commissioner's office to delay the filing of any grievance.  

The union expressed concern in May about the lack of offers to the home run king. Filing a grievance would trigger proceedings before arbitrator Shyam Das. Union general counsel Michael Weiner confirmed the deal with Major League Baseball, which was first reported by murraychass.com.  

"There were numerous things that occurred that made me believe that the clubs were acting in concert," Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris, said Thursday. "When I testify as a witness in the case, I will delineate each and every one of them."  

Bonds was indicted last Nov. 15 on charges related to 2003 grand jury testimony during which he denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs. No team signed Bonds when he became a free agent after the 2007 season.  

Baseball attorneys repeatedly have denied that teams acted in concert against Bonds. Management lawyer Dan Halem said Thursday that MLB would have no additional comment. Bonds pleaded not guilty to 14 counts of making false declarations to a federal grand jury and one count of obstruction of justice, and his trial is scheduled to start March 2. Any grievance is likely to follow the trial.  

The players' association won three collusion grievances in which owners were found to have conspired against free agents following the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons. Management agreed in 1990 to settle those cases for $280 million and also agreed to a provision that future collusion would be subject to triple damages.

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