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DL stint to force Giambi to rest ankle

wire services
Published May 23, 2004

ARLINGTON, Texas - Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi went on the disabled list for the first time in his 10-year career Saturday, giving him two weeks to rest a sprained ankle as well as other aches and pains.

Giambi hurt his right ankle when he stepped into a hole after rounding first base in the ninth inning of a 9-7 loss to the Rangers on Friday night. X-rays showed there was no break, but he left the stadium with his foot wrapped and using crutches.

"He said it's great, but it doesn't look great," manager Joe Torre said. "You more or less have to protect him from himself. An ankle is something you can't do much for. A break, you can put a cast on it. He's a big guy and his swing puts a lot of stress on his legs."

Giambi could be ready in fewer than 15 days, but the Yankees don't want to rush him back. Torre said Giambi wasn't consulted before the move was made, giving him no chance to try to talk the team out of it.

"I think we made the safest decision," Torre said. "We're in May. There was no hesitation on my part."

Tony Clark becomes the regular first baseman despite a .200 average, two homers and seven RBIs in 28 games.

Also, Yankees reliever Steve Karsay could be ready to pitch in an extended spring training game Saturday, which would be his first such action since rotator cuff surgery a year ago. The right-hander pitched two innings in a simulated game for the second time in four days at the spring complex in Tampa.

EXPOS MOVE: An investment group hoping to bring a team to northern Virginia unveiled plans for a stadium near Dulles International Airport.

The stadium would be part of a complex including restaurants, hotels, condominiums and offices surrounding a man-made lake, the group said. It hopes to make the projected development a year-round attraction to defray some construction costs.

The Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority hopes to bring a team to northern Virginia. Major League Baseball is trying to relocate the Montreal Expos and says it wants stadium financing in place before deciding where.

Meanwhile, Frank Robinson said he'd be willing to come back and manage the Expos next season.

"It's only May, but right now, if you asked me to sign a contract to manage this club, I'd sign a contract," he said. "Of course, you've got to be wanted."

PHILS STILL AILING: The Phillies got three pieces of bad news as All-Star closer Billy Wagner, first baseman Jim Thome and second baseman Placido Polanco had injury setbacks that will prolong their recovery times.

Wagner, on the disabled list with a groin injury, pitched one inning of a simulated game before feeling tightness in his leg as he warmed up for the second. The left-hander said his rehabilitation probably will have to start over.

Last week, Thome sprained ligaments in his right index finger because he changed the way he grips the bat to compensate for a thumb injury. He has been day to day since missing the first of four straight games Wednesday.

Polanco was scheduled to be activated today after spending 15 days on the DL with a strained quadriceps. But when he tested the leg in a baserunning drill, making six trips around the bases, he felt tightness.

One bit of good news: Left-hander Randy Wolf, whose turn in the rotation was skipped because of elbow tendinitis, threw 40 pain-free pitches.

REGGIE HONORED: The Athletics retired Reggie Jackson's No. 9 in a brief ceremony before the game against the Royals. With the Hall of Fame outfielder seated behind the podium at home plate, his brother, Joe, and daughter Kimberlyunveiled an image of his jersey on the rightfield fence.

ANGELS: A team official dismissed an Associated Press report that Anaheim has contacted the agent of outfielder Raul Mondesi, whose contract was terminated last week by the Pirates.

D'BACKS: First baseman Richie Sexson aggravated a left shoulder injury that recently sidelined him for more than three weeks. Sexson is scheduled to be re-evaluated today and is unlikely to play today or Monday.

DODGERS: Manager Jim Tracy benched outfielder Shawn Green, whose average has dropped to .219 during a 2-for-16 slump. Tracy said the slugger might sit today. ... Right-hander Jose Lima is likely to start Saturday in place of right-hander Hideo Nomo, who has a split nail his right index finger.

ROYALS: Outfielder Juan Gonzalez was held out of the lineup because of tightness in his lower back.

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