Sports

On the Air - June 14, 2007

Lancaster native and former South Carolina baseball player Lee Gronkiewicz was called up to the major leagues Wednesday, joining Toronto at a three-game series at San Francisco.

Gronkiewicz, a right-handed reliever, is one of five former Gamecocks in Major League Baseball along with shortstop Adam Everett (Houston), second baseman Brian Roberts (Baltimore) and pitchers Jon Coutlangus and Marcus McBeth (Cincinnati).

Gronkiewicz was 3-2 with a 1.80 ERA in 30 innings pitched with 11 saves at Class AA New Hampshire before being called up. He earned All-America honors in 2001 for the Gamecocks, going 2-1 with a nation-leading 19 saves in 36 appearances and tallying a 1.31 ERA in 61 2-3 innings.

Gronkiewicz was not drafted following his 2001 season but began his professional career after signing a free-agent contract with Cleveland.

• Reds broadcaster Marty Brennaman apologized on the air for comparing Cincinnati's upcoming road trip to the Bataan Death March.

Brennaman told radio listeners during the Reds' game Tuesday against the Angels that he was wrong to make the comparison in an earlier broadcast, "and I profusely apologize."

Thousands of captured U.S. and Filipino soldiers were forced to walk 70 miles to a concentration camp during World War II, many dying along the way. A radio listener in New Mexico heard Brennaman's remark about Bataan and sent the Reds an e-mail objecting to the comparison.

• Athletics general manager Billy Beane, the architect behind Oakland's four division titles since 2000, was rewarded with a seven-year contract extension.

Team Michael Crowley also received a seven-year extension from A's owner and managing partner Lew Wolff, who lauded both men for their work with the club.

The A's reached the AL championship series last season, getting swept in four games by Detroit.

The A's have the fourth-best record in baseball and have been to the postseason five times in seven seasons since Beane was hired in 1997.

• COLLEGE FOOTBALL -- Alabama coach Nick Saban's contract has been completed and submitted to the university's board of trustees for approval.

The Crimson Tide made Saban college football's highest-paid coach in luring him away from the Miami Dolphins for an eight-year deal worth more than $30 million.

• Steve Spurrier knows just how Billy Donovan felt.

Just like Donovan, Spurrier also stunned Florida fans by bolting near the height of his popularity for the pros. Spurrier even made a similar, out-of-nowhere decision to leave that job, and almost came back to Gainesville just like Donovan did.

"I didn't tell him anything. I said it's your call, pal, not mine," Spurrier said, chuckling. "That's a decision I think every person individually has to make."

• COLLEGE BASKETBALL -- Wofford point guard Drew Gibson withdrew from the NBA draft and will return for his senior season.

Gibson did not hire an agent, making him eligible to pull out of this month's draft before the Monday deadline.

Gibson, a native of Los Angeles, had a couple of workouts and Wofford coach Mike Young said going through the process gave Gibson a sense of what he needs to work on during the summer.

  Comments