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Baseball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 5, 2001


Reds' Williamson (torn elbow ligament) lost for season

CINCINNATI -- Reds reliever Scott Williamson, the NL's rookie of the year in 1999, has a torn elbow ligament and will need season-ending reconstructive surgery.

Williamson struggled in his two appearances this week and had swelling in the elbow after a 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the Pirates.

A magnetic resonance imaging test on Wednesday found a complete tear in the ligament that runs inside the right elbow.

"With a young pitcher like Scott Williamson, who has an otherwise pristine elbow, there's a good chance of a comeback in a year's time," Dr. Timothy Kremchek said.

The Reds called up reliever Scott Winchester from Triple-A Louisville and placed Williamson on the 60-day disabled list. The club will send the results to several specialists, including Dr. James Andrews, for second opinions before surgery is performed in the next few days.

Kremchek said it was impossible to determine whether the ulnar collateral ligament had been frayed for some time or whether Williamson ripped it on one pitch.

SALARY AVERAGE INCREASES: Baseball broke a big barrier on opening day, with the average salary pushing past $2-million for the first time.

Nearly half the players in the major leagues -- 425 of 854 -- will make $1-million or more, according to a study by the Associated Press.

The average salary increased 13.9 percent to $2,264,403, according to the study, which reviewed the contracts of all major-leaguers on opening rosters and disabled lists. Since 1967, the average salary has increased 118-fold from $19,000 while the Consumer Price Index has merely quadrupled. Opening-day salaries totaled $1.934-billion.

BRAVES: Vandals slashed the tires and scratched the paint of about 40 cars in Turner Field parking lots Tuesday during the Mets-Atlanta game. Braves officials and Atlanta police were investigating.

BREWERS-ROCKIES TRADE: Mark Leiter, acquired by Colorado last week in a trade with the Mets, was part of a six-player trade between the Rockies and Milwaukee. Leiter, a right-handed setup man who missed last season after a right shoulder operation, was sent to Milwaukee with pitcher Mike DeJean and infielder Elvis Pena. In exchange, the Rockies got pitchers Juan Acevedo and Kane Davis and minor-league infielder Jose Flores. Milwaukee reliever Valerio de los Santos was placed on the disabled list with a tear in the left ulnar collateral ligament.

CUBS: Infielder Ron Coomer went on the 15-day disabled list with a torn medial meniscus in his left knee. Coomer is scheduled for surgery today and will be out at least two weeks. The Cubs recalled Julio Zuleta from Triple-A Iowa.

EXPOS: Montreal purchased the contract of catcher Randy Knorr from Triple-A Ottawa, bringing him in to replace backup Sandy Martinez, who tore elbow ligaments in the season opener.

INDIANS: For the first time in 456 games, Cleveland didn't play in front of a sellout crowd at the Jake as the longest consecutive sellout streak in major-league history ended at 455 games. MARLINS: Under pressure from the Marlins, a Florida Senate committee lobbed two bills forward that would help pay for a new stadium and keep major-league baseball in South Florida. One bill, filed by Sen. Ron Silver, D-Miami, would allow the city of Miami to continue collecting a surcharge on parking fees that would be used to buy land for the stadium. City officials estimate the surcharge would generate about $13-million a year. Miami is the currently the only city that would benefit from the legislation.

PIRATES: Pittsburgh lost left-hander Terry Mulholland to a leg injury during the fourth inning against the Reds.

RED SOX: Dante Bichette, upset about losing his role as Boston's full-time designated hitter, has asked his agent, Ron Shapiro, to get the team to either play him or trade him.

ROYALS: Rightfielder Jermaine Dye and second baseman Carlos Febles were knocked flat in a frightening collision at Yankee Stadium.

Dye sustained a mild concussion and a blow to the nose, and Febles bruised his right knee. Manager Tony Muser said both could play today.

YANKEES: Roger Clemens expects his next start to be pushed back a day because of a sore right wrist, the result of being hit by a comebacker on opening day.

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