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Pence now filthy-rich

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Hunter Pence pleaded ignorance as his San Francisco Giants teammates greeted him with hugs and backslaps when he arrived at AT&T Park for Saturday's game against San Diego.

Pence and the San Francisco Giants have reached a tentative agreement on a $90-million, five-year contract, pending a physical.

"I can't say too much until it's official," Giants' manager Bruce Bochy said. "It's good news. I couldn't be happier for Hunter."

The outfielder, who was scheduled to get his physical before taking the field, politely declined comment.

A formal announcement of the deal is expected today. He had been eligible to become a free agent after the World Series.

"You can't help but love Hunter Pence and the way he plays the game," Bochy said. "It's all about making a commitment and getting back on track. You need great players."

Pence is batting .282 with a career-high 26 home runs and 94 RBIs. He received the Willie Mac Award on Friday night, given to the most inspirational member of the Giants.

Is speedy kid on juice?

NEW YORK -- The 12-year-old fan who retrieved Alex Rodriguez's record 24th career grand slam ball from the stands at Yankee Stadium says he gave it back because he felt the slugger had "worked hard" for the feat and deserved it.

Steven Gieseler Jr., of East Islip, scooped the ball from beneath a seat as Rodriguez rounded the bases in a game against the Giants on Sept. 20.

The slam allowed Rodriguez to break a record held by Steven's all-time favourite Yankee, Lou Gehrig.

But the middle schooler told Newsday (http://bit.ly/1bgfp48) that when a security official approached him and said Rodriguez wanted the ball, he had no problem turning it over.

"It's the player's accomplishment," the boy said. "He deserves to get it back. He worked hard for it."

After the game, Steven and his father met with Rodriguez, who gave him an autographed bat and ball, and asked him whether he had been to the stadium before or played baseball.

Mets set to re-sign Collins

NEW YORK -- Terry Collins is poised to remain with the New York Mets as they attempt to build a winner.

Three people with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Saturday that Collins is close to an agreement to stay on as manager. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized and no announcement had been made. Collins' current contract expires after this season, his third in charge of the Mets.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 29, 2013 B12

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