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RAY SWANSON | Keystoner Hermansen had his chances with the Pirates



Published: Sun, August 11, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



He had more than enough time to prove himself, so the Pittsburgh Pirates were vindicated when they decided to pull the plug on outfielder Chad Hermansen.

At one time the Bucs' top prospect, Hermansen was dealt to the Chicago Cubs recently for outfielder Darren Lewis. Lewis apparently was not too happy with the deal, and decided he would retire instead of heading for Pittsburgh.

It was apparent, however, that Lewis would not have spent too many days as a Pirate, as he was considered trade bait even before the deal had been finalized.

So what did the Bucs get? They acquired minor league left-handers Ricardo Palma and Tim Lavery, plus some cash, while the Pirates sent outfielder Aron Weston to the Cubs along with Hermansen.

Hermansen was the Bucs' first-round draft choice in 1995. At the time of his trade, he was hitting at a measly .206 with seven homers and 15 RBIs. The 24-year-old never batted higher than .233 in four seasons with the Pirates.

He hit well in Wrigley

But Hermansen was one of those guys you hate to see go, but he may have found a home in Chicago's Wrigley Field where he has hit at a .341 clip with three homers and six RBIs. The new locale may be just what the doctor ordered for the gentle giant.

While with the Pirates this season, he fanned 68 times in 194 at bats and went hitless in his final 14 at bats. Following the All-Star break, he was six for 30 in 14 games.

As for the retired Lewis, his marks were not much better than Hermansen's, leading one to ask why the trade was made in the first place. He was batting .241 with no homers and seven RBIs. He did have a .326 on-base percentage.

Hermansen has a lot of playing years remaining, barring any serious injury. So Here's hoping things work out well for Chad in his new surroundings.

Matlak named

Recently, Allegheny College in Meadville announced that Mark Matlak, 46, former defensive coordinator at the University of New Hampshire, was named the Gators' new head football coach, replacing Blair Hrorvat, who resigned after four seasons.

Allegheny has named a new athletic director in Larry Lee, 39, who was associate AD at the University of Denver.




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