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December 6, 1997

MIAMI (AP) _ The Florida Marlins announced Friday that they claimed minor-league infielder Brandon Cromer off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates, and designated the contract of veteran infielder Alex Arias for assignment.

Cromer, 23, played for both Triple A Calgary of the Pacific Coast League and Class AA Carolina of the Southern League in 1997. At Calgary, the left-handed hitting Cromer batted .232 with 30 runs scored, 15 doubles, two triples, eight homers and 36 RBIs. At Carolina, he hit 228 with 23 runs scored, 12 doubles, four triples, four homers and 14 RBIs.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound Cromer was acquired by Pittsburgh from Toronto in Nov., 1996 after being selected by the Blue Jays in the 1992 amateur draft.

Arias has played the last five seasons with the Marlins and is the club’s career leader in pinch hits. In 1997, Arias batted .247 with 13 runs scored, two doubles, one homer and 11 RBIs. He is a career .268 hitter with nine homers and 105 RBIs.

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Newly acquired Saints wide receiver Alvin Harper sprained both ankles and his left knee in a practice field collision with another player and won’t play Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.

Whether he will be able to play in New Orleans’ final two games of the season is uncertain, the team said Friday. Harper, 29, was claimed off waivers Tuesday from the Washington Redskins.

The injury occurred midway through practice Thursday. Harper ran a 15-yard curl and collided with cornerback Mickey Washington while coming out of the pattern.

He was carted off the field and taken to a hospital where he underwent tests.

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The Indianapolis Colts put quarterback Paul Justin and defensive back Dedric Mathis on injured reserve Friday, ending their season three games early.

Justin, who started four games in place of the injured Jim Harbaugh, was the AFC offensive player of the week after passing for 340 yards and one touchdown in a 41-38 victory over Green Bay three weeks ago, the Colts’ only victory this season.

He injured his knee the next week at Detroit and was inactive last week at New England. Mathis, who started three games, also injured his knee against the Patriots.

The Colts filled their roster spots by signing receiver Chris Doering and running back Leon Neal from the practice squad.

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PHOENIX (AP) _ Preparing for its inaugural season this spring, the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday selected Glenn Sherlock as the bullpen and catching coach.

Sherlock, 37, has been with the expansion team for the past two years as the minor-league catching coordinator. He was deeply involved with the team’s scouting efforts in preparation for last month’s draft.

Sherlock, who originally signed with the Houston Astros as a free agent in 1983, spent most of career with the New York Yankees’ organization as a minor-league player, coach and manager. He also served as the Yankees’ bullpen catcher in 1994-95.

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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) _ Oregon defensive coordinator Rich Stubler announced Friday he will resign after the Ducks play No. 23 Air Force in the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 20.

Stubler, who also worked as defensive secondary coach for the past two seasons, said he hopes to get a head coaching job in the Canadian Football League, but declined to say which team.

When Stubler came to Oregon from the CFL in 1996, he brought a style of play later blamed for turning the Ducks into one of the worst defensive units in the Pacific-10 Conference _ just one season after Oregon went to the 1995 Rose Bowl on the strength of its ``Gang Green″ defense.

Oregon managed a winning season by finishing 6-5 with a season-ending victory over Oregon State, but the Ducks were only 3-5 in the Pac-10 and were blown out in several games.

Oregon finished the season allowing 440.5 yards and 30.6 points a game.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ Volleyball coach Martie Larsen and soccer coach Bob Wood have resigned their posts at Drake University.

Larsen had a 126-137 record in nine years at Drake. She led Drake to three straight 20-victory seasons from 1994-96.

Wood had a 99-102-15 record in 12 seasons as Drake’s soccer coach. The Bulldogs posted an 8-10-1 record this fall.