Jordan may play in Phoeniz fall league

The Associated Press

CHICAGO Michael Jordan may go on playing baseball until December.

The Chicago White Sox on Tuesday asked the Arizona Fall League for permission to allow Jordan to play in its upcoming season.

Jordan is currently with the White Sox's Double-A Birmingham team. He is batting .203 with three home runs, 49 RBI and 30 stolen bases. He has struck out 109 times in 424 at-bats, and has 10 errors in the outfield.

Jordan is scheduled to finish his first year in pro baseball on Sept. 3 when the Southern League ends its season.

But the former NBA star has expressed interest in sharpening his skills, and the White Sox want him to do it in the Arizona Fall League, made up from top prospects from all major league teams.

White Sox general manager Ron Schueler said he expected to hear in seven to 10 days whether Jordan is approved as an extra player for the league, which runs from Oct. 6 to Dec. 1.

petitionTerry Francona, the manager of Jordan's team in Birmingham, will manage the Scottsdale Scorpions, the Arizona team on which Jordan would play.

Each big league club can submit up to six players, almost all of them from Double-A and Triple-A, for the Arizona league. The White Sox's list of six last week did not include Jordan, and the club is petitioning to allow him as a seventh player.

The Scorpions will be made up of prospects from the White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants.

"It's the first time we've ever been petitioned like this," said Steve Gilbert, spokesman for the Arizona league. "It's kind of a gray area as to who makes the decision. We're figuring out whether it's the league or the major league teams themselves or the commissioner's office."

Rosters for Arizona league teams are 28 players. If Jordan is approved, the Scorpions would have 29.

The Arizona Fall League will be starting its third season. There are six teams and each play 51 games in five ballparks used during spring training. More than 100 former players from the league played in the majors this season.

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