ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) _ Bruce Sutter, one of baseball’s most successful relief pitchers and a player who pioneered the use of the split-finger fastball, has returned to the St. Louis Cardinals as a minor-league pitching instructor.
Sutter, who retired from the Atlanta Braves after a failed comeback attempt from shoulder surgery last spring, had his first day on the job Tuesday at the Cardinals’ minor league complex.
″I was tired of sitting around,″ Sutter said. ″I thought about (coaching), but I wanted to do it on the minor-league level.
″The Cardinals are a strong organization. If I was going to come back and try it, I wanted to do it with this organization.″
Sutter, 37, retired as the Cardinals’ career save leader with 127 and compiled 300 overall. But he has had three shoulder operations in the last four years and knows his pitching days are over.
″I tried last year,″ Sutter said. ″I can play catch and I could throw batting practice, but if I tried to unload on one, I couldn’t do it.″
Sutter left the Cardinals in 1985 and signed a $10 million, six-year contract with the Braves that was then one of the most lucrative in the game. He still is being paid by the Braves this season.
SEATTLE (AP) - University of Washington is losing safety Eugene Burkhalter, one of the Huskies’ top defensive players.
Burkhalter, a 21-year-old junior from Long Beach, Calif., told the Morning News Tribune of Tacoma that he will pass up his senior season to make himself available for the NFL draft in April.
″There are no guarantees - not this year, not next year,″ Burkhalter said.
He said he wrestled with the decision during the past month. Even though he has until March 22 to sign a letter to the NFL making himself ineligible for college football and eligible for the draft, he said he decided to announce his decision.
″I know I’m taking a big chance,″ he said. ″Who knows, I might not get picked up. But it’s out there for me.
″I’ve talked to a lot of people about it - my parents, the (UW) coaches, a lot of people - but it’s up to me. It’s my decision, and my parents say they’re behind whatever I do.″
ZAO, Japan (AP) - Austria’s Andreas Goldberger soared 85.5 meters - the event’s longest jump - to win the 70-meter normal hill event in the FIS International Zao Ski Jump.
It was the second-straight victory for Goldberger, a 17-year-old high school student, who captured the 70-meter jump title on Wednesday.
Goldberger earned 113.6 points for his jump to beat Shinichi Tanaka of Japan by 7.7 points.
The scheduled second jump was canceled because of strong winds, organizers said.
Tanaka leaped 82.0 meters to earn 105.9 points for second place.
Yasunori Oikawa of Japan collected 102.8 points with a jump of 79.0 meters and placed third.
Herwig Millonig of Austria, who was 12th on Wednesday, placed fourth with a jump of 76.5 meters. He earned 96.3 points.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - California State-Bakersfield, seeking its fifth straight men’s title, took an early lead after the first day of NCAA Division II men’s and women’s swimming and diving championships.
Bakersfield compiled 197 points to 135.5 for Oakland University of Michigan. California State-Northridge is in third in the 17-team men’s class with 81.5 points.
In the women’s competition, North Dakota leads the 20-team field with 113 points. Northridge is second with 102 and Navy is third with 94.
Bakersfield opened defense of its men’s title by taking the top four events in the 500-yard freestyle, including Adrew Bures’ first-place time of 4 minutes 27.81 seconds.
North Dakota’s women’s 200 medley relay team tied a meet record it set earlier in the day with a winning time of 1:45.97. Janine Etchepare took first in the 50 freestyle in 23.65 seconds.
VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) - Ian Woosnam of Wales moved to the top of the PGA European money list with his victory in last weekend’s Mediterranean Open in Spain.
Woosnam, playing in his first European tournament of the season, earned $113,322 in the rain-shortened 54-hole event. He finished two strokes ahead of Argentina’s Eduardo Romero and Miguel Angel Martin of Spain.
Eamonn Darcy of Ireland dropped to second on the money list with $84,312 after three tournaments this season.