Selig insists baseball must change its economics

WASHINGTON--Putting owners on a collision course with players, baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told a Senate panel yesterday "it is time for sweeping changes" in the game's economics.

"It is my job to restore hope and faith," Selig testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee's subcommittee on antitrust, business rights and competition.

Selig said 18 to 20 of the 30 teams will lose money this year, and he revealed that the New York Yankees will pay $17 million in revenue sharing this year and the New York Mets $15 million. The five teams with the lowest revenue received amounts ranging from $11 million to $23 million.

"The economic landscape of the game must be changed, and the way we do business must be changed," Selig said.

Yanks sign Joe Oliver

Free-agent catcher Joe Oliver signed a one-year, $1.1 million contract with the Yankees. Oliver, 35, batted .265 with 10 home runs and 35 runs batted in for the Mariners last season.

Strawberry gets probation

Darryl Strawberry, the former Yankee slugger being treated for cancer at a drug-rehab house, was given a year's probation, to be served concurrently with his drug-use sentence. He was also ordered to DUI school on no-contest pleas to charges arising from a wreck he caused while under the influence of prescription medication.

Williams leaves hospital

Ted Williams has left a hospital in Gainesville, Fla., after having a pacemaker implanted. A hospital spokeswoman said the 82-year-old Hall of Fame slugger was admitted to the hospital Oct. 30 after having difficulty breathing.