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Doctor: Ordonez is out for the season

By TOM JONES, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 21, 2003

MIAMI - For the past week, it appeared Devil Rays shortstop Rey Ordonez was on the verge of returning from a knee injury. Ordonez spoke of how he felt good and couldn't wait to return.

The Rays now might have to wait a year after receiving crushing news. After being examined by his personal doctor Friday morning in Miami, Ordonez almost assuredly will have season-ending surgery to repair the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

"I'm not saying it's definite, but, yeah, it's going to happen," manager Lou Piniella said. "It's not good news for us."

If Ordonez has the surgery as expected, he will be out at least nine months, and might not be able to play for a year.

Ordonez sprained his knee May9 but appeared ready to return this week. He played Monday in the Hall of Fame game in Cooperstown, N.Y., and worked out the past several days. There was talk he would return Friday against Florida.

Then he got the bad news from Dr. John Uribe, who will perform the surgery.

"This hurts, not only because of his defense, but his offense," Piniella said. "He was hitting the ball well and playing a heck of a shortstop."

Ordonez, who owns three Gold Gloves, always has played well defensively, but he put up surprisingly good offensive numbers. He was batting .316 with three homers and 22 RBIs in 117 at-bats.

Julio Lugo, picked up May16 after being released from Houston, will continue as the everyday shortstop. But Piniella could not hide the disappointment over losing Ordonez.

"We were very pleased with the young man," Piniella said. "He was playing very well for us. What are you going to do?"

COURT OF APPEALS: Major League Baseball handed down its punishment for the June 14 brawl between the Rays and Pirates, and the Rays are not happy about it.

Marlon Anderson and Carl Crawford were suspended three games and fined, and Al Martin and Joe Kennedy were fined. All except Kennedy are appealing and will continue to play until their appeals are heard. Anderson's suspension was to begin Friday; Crawford's was scheduled to start Monday.

"To me, it's excessive, especially Crawford," Piniella said. "He wasn't even ejected out of the ballgame. I didn't even know he was in the scuffle."

The scuffle started when Anderson was hit by a pitch. He walked slowly down the first-base line and was shadowed by Pirates catcher Jason Kendall. After exchanging words, Anderson knocked Kendall's mask off with a brushing forearm and the benches emptied.

Kendall and Pirates pitcher Julian Tavarez were suspended for three games, and fined $1,000. Anderson was fined $1,500, Crawford $1,000. Martin and Kennedy, who was punished for being on the field while on the disabled list, were fined $500.

"I was trying to break things up," Crawford said. "I don't know what they saw on the tape. Maybe I need to take a look at it. I saw Marlon fall. I was just trying to get everybody up. Maybe when I was down in there it looked like I was doing some other stuff."

Anderson was upset he was fined $500 more than Kendall, and was surprised to get three games.

"Guys get three games and $1,000 for charging the mound," he said. "I get three games and $1,500 for walking halfway down to first base and have the catcher in my face. I definitely think it was a little much."

SECOND CHANCE: Dewon Brazelton's demotion to the bullpen didn't last long. Piniella said there's a good chance Brazelton, 1-6 with a 6.46 ERA, will start Tuesday against the Yankees.

"We'll give him another opportunity," Piniella said. "Hope he makes the best of it."

Today's lineup
  • Trio sent packing, and Rays are, too
  • Doctor: Ordonez is out for the season
  • Willis echoing Doc and Bird


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  • Back to Top

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