Mets fire longtime clubhouse manager amid gambling probe

The New York Mets fired their longtime clubhouse manager yesterday amid a police investigation into illegal gambling.

The Mets said Charlie Samuels was fired for violating team policies. The club said the decision came after an internal investigation that lasted several months.

This season was Samuels' 27th year on the job. He also helped handle team travel arrangements.

Samuels has admitted betting on baseball, according to a person familiar with the investigation. He made the admission to an investigator for Major League Baseball in the last month, the person told the Associated Press last week.

MLB believes most of Samuels' alleged gambling involved NFL games, the person said. The person said Samuels had become involved in an investigation by the Queens District Attorney and the New York Police Department into illegal gambling.

A second person said last week that law enforcement is investigating the possibility that Samuels borrowed money from team accounts for short periods of time without authorization and then paid the money back.

In other baseball news:

* Atlanta hired former Phillies manager Lee Elia as a special assistant to general manager Frank Wren, working as an instructor in the majors and minors.

* Anheuser-Busch filed a suit in federal court claiming that Major League Baseball agreed in April to a multiyear extension of its exclusive sponsorship rights but a few weeks later tried to back out.

* Oakland acquired third baseman Edwin Encarnacion from Toronto on a waiver claim.

* Florida acquired Dustin Richardson from Boston for Andrew Miller in a trade of lefthandes.


* Tiger Woods shot a 1-over 72 in the second round and was nine shots behind leader Adam Bland at the Australian Masters.

* Roland Thatcher shot a 9-under 63 to take a four-shot lead in the Children's Miracle Network Classic in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

* Paula Creamer shot a 6-under 66 to take a one-stroke lead in the Lorena Ochoa Invitational in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Philly File

* St. Joseph's Prep catcher Ray Toto has committed to play baseball at George Mason University.

Sport Stops

* Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett has said no to the Lingerie Football League, saying "there are too many problems to list" and he will not let the LFL play in any city-owned venue.

* Mark Schubert is out as head coach of the U.S. national swim team, according to a person familiar with the situation and an internal e-mail obtained yesterday by the Associated Press.

* U.S. Olympic champion Shani Davis won the men's 1,000 meters in the speedskating World Cup season opener in Heerenveen, Netherlands.