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Man charged in Stenson case

A man found driving a vehicle that belonged to slain Cincinnati Reds outfielder Dernell Stenson was booked on a charge of possession of stolen property, police in Phoenix said yesterday.

The man, Kevin Riddle, was arrested and jailed Wednesday night about two hours after Stenson, a former Red Sox prospect, was found dead in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, police said.

No other charges were filed against Riddle, whom police called an "investigative lead." Police said they didn't know if the two men knew each other.

Stenson's body was found Wednesday by police responding to a report of shots fired. He appeared to have been shot and run over, authorities said.

Stenson, 25, made his major league debut this season and played 37 games for the Reds. He hit .247 with three home runs and 13 RBIs.

Stenson was a third-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1996. He stayed in their system until this year, when the Reds claimed him off waivers during spring training. Stenson played four seasons for Triple A Pawtucket. In a statement yesterday, the team said Stenson had been a "true gentlemen" during his stay in Pawtucket.

Murray out of mix?

The Baltimore Orioles' field of managerial candidates has been reduced to three, and Eddie Murray apparently isn't one of them, the Washington Post reported. Orioles bench coach Sam Perlozzo, Brewers hitting coach Rich Dauer, and Yankees third base coach Lee Mazzilli are the finalists, the Post reported. Former Red Sox manager Grady Little also interviewed for the position . . . Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte filed for free agency. Clemens has said he is retiring, but by filing, he gives himself the option of negotiating with all 30 teams if he changes his mind. The Yankees repeatedly have said they hope to re-sign Pettitte. Also filing were Florida second baseman Luis Castillo, New York Mets infielder Jay Bell, and Pittsburgh infielder Pat Meares . . . New Mets general manager Jim Duquette started surrounding himself with new talent evaluators, hiring former 20-game winner Bill Singer and longtime scout Al Goldis as special assistants . . . Shortstop Jose Valentin's $5 million option was exercised by the Chicago White Sox . . . The new Double A team that begins play next spring in Manchester, N.H., will be nicknamed the Primaries. New Hampshire holds the earliest state presidential primary in the nation. The Eastern League team is an affiliate of the Blue Jays . . . The San Diego Padres will have new uniforms and a new logo when they move into their new ballpark next spring. The Padres unveiled a tricolor scheme of navy, sand, and sky blue. The colors are supposed to represent the sea, the sky, and beaches.

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