Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was remembered as ``a loving husband and an awesome father" yesterday at a memorial attended by family, friends, and teammates of the avid yet inexperienced pilot who was killed in a crash during an aerial tour of New York City.
As the 45-minute outdoor service in Covina, Calif., began, three planes similar to the one Lidle owned flew over the crowd before disappearing into dark gray clouds. ``Everybody was doing fine until the planes went over," said Randy Wolf, Lidle's teammate with Philadelphia.
Among those at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Lidle's hometown were Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson and a contingent of Yankees: All-Star Derek Jeter, former high school teammate Jason Giambi, Jaret Wright, manager Joe Torre, and general manager Brian Cashman.
Lidle, 34, and his 26-year-old flight instructor, Tyler Stanger, were killed last Wednesday when the pitcher's small plane crashed into a Manhattan high-rise.
Following the funeral, hundreds of mourners did something else he enjoyed: They sat down to a luncheon of In-N-Out burgers, his favorite fast food. ``He was always bugging me to get him an endorsement," said Jordan Feagan, Lidle's agent and friend of 14 years.
Johnson eyes surgery
Yankees pitcher Randy Johnson
, 43, will have surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back that hampered him during the final weeks of the season. Cashman said last week that surgery was probable, but that Johnson would first be examined by Dr. Robert Watkins
in Los Angeles. Watkins operated on Johnson's back Sept. 12, 1996, and Johnson made his first start the following April 5.
Piniella vows to win Lou Piniella
vows to make a winner of the Cubs, whose last World Series appearance came in 1945. ``Urgency is important," said Piniella, who was introduced as the team's manager. ``We're going to win here, and that's the end of the story." Piniella agreed Monday to a three-year contract worth nearly $10 million . . . Announcer Steve Lyons
can keep his part-time job with the Dodgers if he completes diversity training, and Piniella came to his defense. Lyons was fired by Fox last Friday for making a racially insensitive comment while on the air with Piniella. ``There isn't a racist bone in his body. Not one," Piniella said . . . The Giants received permission to speak to Angels pitching coach Bud Black
about their managerial opening . . . White Sox shortstop Juan Uribe
was questioned and released yesterday but remains a suspect in the shooting of two men in the Dominican Republic. Police confiscated a gun from Uribe . . . Sammy Stewart
, who pitched for the 1983 World Series champion Baltimore Orioles during his 10 major-league seasons, has been sentenced to at least six years in prison after pleading guilty to drug charges and other crimes in Asheville, N.C.
© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.