Cordero Pulled After Allegations Of Abuse Surface

BOSTON - Red Sox outfielder Wilfredo Cordero, facing charges of assaulting his current wife, also allegedly beat his former wife when she was pregnant, according to a court document obtained by the Boston Globe.

Cordero, charged with assaulting his current wife, Ana, on June 11, was accused by his former wife during divorce proceedings in 1993 of assaulting her repeatedly, the newspaper reported today.

"On numerous occasions, he caused bruises and bleeding," and at least one alleged beating during her pregnancy left Wanda Cordero "with permanent scarring," according to a document filed Aug. 6, 1993, in Camden County (N.J.) Superior Court.

Wanda Cordero also accused her husband of mental abuse and adultery. He had affairs "with numerous women," she said in the statement.

Her husband denied the allegations in his answer filed with the court in connection with the divorce. The allegations were never tested in a court.

Stephen R. Follansbee of Quincy, Mass., one of Wilfredo Cordero's lawyers in the June 11 case, said that since Cordero and his first wife came to a final agreement on their divorce in 1994, there was no hearing on his ex-wife's allegations. Neither Wanda Cordero nor her lawyer, Adrienne Freya Jarvis, would comment yesterday, the Globe said.

The Red Sox said team officials learned of the previous allegations shortly before Boston's game last night against Detroit. Cordero was listed in the lineup but was replaced by Troy O'Leary before the team took the field. Cordero left the dugout with Manager Jimy Williams in the second inning and later returned to his home.

In the third inning, the Red Sox issued a brief statement.

"This evening, the Boston Red Sox learned for the very first time of allegations relating to events involving Wilfredo Cordero between 1990 and 1993, before Cordero joined the Red Sox in 1996," it said. "What the Red Sox have been told about these allegations raises new serious issues. Based on this new information, the Red Sox withdrew Cordero from the lineup. The Red Sox are actively engaged in an expeditious review of this new information."

Sosa signs lucrative contract

CHICAGO - Sammy Sosa became the third-highest paid player in baseball today, signing a four-year contract with the Chicago Cubs for $42.5 million.

Sosa, who is earning $5.25 million this season, will get yearly salaries of $7 million in 1998, $8 million in 1999, $10 million in 2000 and $11 million in 2001. Sosa and the Cubs have a mutual option for $12 million in 2002. If Sosa exercises it but the Cubs decline, he would get an additional $2.5 million buyout. If the option is exercised the contract would be worth $52 million over five seasons.

Sosa received a $4 million signing bonus, with $2 million payable now, and an additional $2 million due in January.

Sosa had a $5.75 million player option for next year under his current contract, but already told the Cubs he would not exercise it, making him eligible for free agency after the World Series.

San Francisco's Barry Bonds leads the game with an annual salary of $11.45 million under the extension he starts next season, followed by Albert Belle of the Chicago White Sox at $11 million under the five-year deal he began this year.

Sosa's contract averages to $10,625,000, ahead of Florida's Gary Sheffield at $10,166,667.


-- Baseball officials are investigating allegations that Luis Rosa, San Francisco scout, sexually molested eight baseball players in the Dominican Republic, the Giants said today. Rosa, 51, resigned two weeks ago as the Giants coordinator of Latin American operations but has denied the allegations, according to the Giants.

The players, who made their accusations on television in the Dominican Republic earlier this month, claim that entrance into Rosa's baseball academy in Puerto Rico required sexual submission.

-- H. Wayne Huizenga said he is putting the Florida Marlins up for sale. "You shouldn't fall in love with a team," said Huizenga, who pledged to sell only to an owner or ownership group that would keep the team in South Florida. "We kept spending, spending and spending, and it had just gotten to a point where it just doesn't work."

-- The National League reinstated Cincinnati third baseman Terry Pendleton from the 15-day disabled list four days after he fouled a ball off his foot and broke a toe. The league took the unusual step after the Players Association questioned the move at Pendleton's request. "In my opinion, which doesn't count, I thought I should have been given a couple of days before the decision was made," said Pendleton, whose contract includes bonuses for games played and started. To open a roster spot for Pendleton, the Reds optioned third baseman Aaron Boone to Class AAA Indianapolis.

-- In his first appearance at Camden Yards since colon-cancer surgery June 13, Baltimore outfielder Eric Davis said he intends to play again this season but remains undecided if he will undergo chemotherapy.

-- The Orioles have renewed efforts to trade for Oakland outfielder Geronimo Berroa.

-- Managers Mike Hargrove of Cleveland, Johnny Oates of Texas, Bruce Bochy of San Diego and Dusty Baker of San Francisco were named coaches for the All-Star Game on July 8 in Cleveland.