Fomer Jays manager quits in protest

Bob Elliott, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:06 PM ET

Tim Johnson is out of work again.

This time Johnson quit in protest Saturday night before the Lake County Fielders took on Jose Canseco’s Yuma Scorpions.

Johnson’s players in the independent North American League had not been paid.

Both Johnson and interim manager Pete LaCock quit as a result. The Fielders are owned by Rich Ehrenreich and others including actor Kevin Costner.

On Monday, Lake County released 14 players and dealt nine after missing its latest payroll.

In LaCock’s final game Saturday he used pitchers in the field and position players on the mound against Yuma. Canseco also used pitchers as position players and fielders on the mound for his Yuma team.

Johnson was Canseco’s manager in 1998 with the Blue Jays.

“We want to start fresh,” Fielders general manager Mike Kardamis told the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s a privilege to play pro ball. If these guys don’t want to play here, we will find guys who want to play here. We could have put them on the suspended list, but we don’t want to ruin their careers.

“Players weren’t happy, and it wasn’t going to be good to make them stay. They can cash their checks tomorrow once the Bank of Waukegan opens. I’ve been in this business 15 years and never gone through anything like this.”

Canseco pitched six innings and got the win as the Scorpions won 8-3.

The only survivor from Saturday’s game was catcher Alan Rick, who has arrived in Lake County on Thursday.

Former Cubs outfielder Joey Gathright entered Saturday’s game as a mop-up catcher for the Scorpions.

Lake County started on the road with 32 games and didn’t have any revenue until July 3.

The NABL fined LaCock $2,500 Monday for making “a farce of a game.”


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