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Olympic Hero Sent to Minors

April 14, 2001

MILWAUKEE (AP) _ Olympic hero Ben Sheets was sent to Triple-A Indianapolis by the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Sheets, a rookie right-hander who beat Cuba for the gold medal in Sydney last summer, wasn’t demoted because of his 0-2 record or 6.00 ERA, manager Davey Lopes said.

It’s just that the Brewers don’t need a fifth starter until April 28.

``That’s the only reason,″ Lopes said. ``We have too many open dates, and we don’t want him pitching out of the bullpen. He’ll be back when we need him.″

Sheets, who will start Wednesday for Indianapolis, said he wasn’t discouraged.

``No, there’s no need for a fifth starter,″ he said. ``Logically, you don’t want your big guns going on six, seven days’ rest. It’s a move that’s got to be made. So, you just take it and go pitch.″

Asked what he hopes to do at Indianapolis, Sheets replied: ``Try not to ruin them.″

Indianapolis leads the International League’s Western Division.

``I’m going to go down there and try to help them win some games,″ said Sheets, who will make two starts for the Indians.

Sheets has lost both of his big league starts to the Houston Astros and right-hander Wade Miller, who had one walk and 23 strikeouts compared to Sheets’ eight walks and 11 strikeouts.

``I’m not disappointed. I don’t think anybody is. I hope not,″ Sheets said. ``I had a rough first one, I thought I threw the ball well the second one. But like I said, there’s no need for a fifth starter right now and I’m that guy. So, it’s just better for the team.

``I’ll get another shot,″ Sheets added as he slipped on his black leather jacket and made his way out of the clubhouse. ``I’m not worried about that. I mean, I’ll be back.″

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