The death of Doug Ault, former Toronto Blue Jays first baseman, was ruled a suicide, a medical examiner said yesterday. Ault died Dec. 22 at 54 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound...

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CLEARWATER, Fla. — The death of Doug Ault, former Toronto Blue Jays first baseman, was ruled a suicide, a medical examiner said yesterday.



Ault died Dec. 22 at 54 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at his Tarpon Springs, Fla., home. The Blue Jays announced his death Monday.



Tarpon Springs police had suspected Ault’s death was a suicide, Sgt. Jeff Young said. The police declined to elaborate, citing a pending investigation.



Ault became part of Blue Jays lore when he hit two home runs in the first game of the expansion team’s history. With a cold wind blowing off Lake Ontario, Ault homered twice off Ken Brett in the Blue Jays’ 9-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Exhibition Stadium on April 7, 1977.



Ault hit a total of 17 home runs during his four years in the major leagues.



His career average was .236 in 256 games.



Ault was selected by Toronto in the 1976 expansion draft from the Texas Rangers and spent three seasons with the Blue Jays before retiring in 1980.



He also worked as a manager in the Blue Jays’ organization, handling various Class A teams before managing Class AAA Syracuse.



Yankees, Diamondbacks talk again about potential Johnson deal


NEW YORK — The New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks talked again yesterday about a trade that would send Randy Johnson to New York for Javier Vazquez.




Yankees president Randy Levine spoke with Jeff Moorad, incoming Arizona chief executive officer. They discussed both prospects and money, but no progress was made.



A proposed three-team, 10-player trade came apart last week when Los Angeles withdrew from the talks.



Former Mariner Johnson, 41, has won five Cy Young Awards. He is owed $16 million next season.



About 750 pay respects to ex-Texas manager Oates


COLONIAL HEIGHTS, Va. — About 750 relatives, friends and former baseball peers, including a contingent from Texas, paid their last respects to former Rangers manager Johnny Oates.




Oates died Friday at 58 after a three-year fight with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive brain tumor.



Most attending the funeral service at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church were associated with Oates through his 35-year career of playing, coaching and managing.



Oates was best known for managing the Rangers to their first three postseason appearances, in 1996, 1998 and 1999.



Oates also managed the Baltimore Orioles from 1991 to 1994.