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Baseball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 7, 2001


Boone looks forward to Griffey's return when the Reds get home

MILWAUKEE -- Reds manager Bob Boone said he hoped outfielder Ken Griffey would return after the team's nine-game road trip.

"I haven't asked him (how he felt) in the past three, four days," Boone said Friday. "There are some telltale signs you'll see before it happens, like trotting in the outfield."

Griffey, who has pinch hit in two games, took batting practice before the game. He missed almost half of spring training with a sore left hamstring and is still bothered by the injury.

CARDINALS: First baseman Mark McGwire sat out the second game in a row with a sore right knee. Manager Tony La Russa said McGwire is scheduled to start today. "My knee's not that good, so we'll figure out what we need to do," McGwire said before the Cardinals opened a three-game series with Arizona.

Outfielder Jim Edmonds also was out of the lineup for the second straight day with a sprained left big toe.

DODGERS: The commissioner's office voided the contracts of two Dominicans, saying they misrepresented their ages to appear younger when they signed with Los Angeles. Alexis Arias and Arismendy Cuello, who signed minor-league deals, played for the championship team in last year's Dominican Summer League.

INDIANS: With centerfielder Kenny Lofton resting a strained calf, Jacob Cruz started in center against Baltimore. It was his first regular-season game in center since he suffered a major knee injury while trying to catch a ball near the wall on April29.

Left-hander C.C. Sabathia is scheduled to make his major-league debut Sunday against the Orioles. Cleveland outfielder Ellis Burks said Sabathia reminds him of J.R. Richard, a strikeout artist with Houston in the 1980s. Sabathia said he had no idea who Richard was. "That kind of messed me up," the 36-year-old Burks said.

MARLINS: Taxpayers might wind up financing two south Florida stadiums for the team, the one where it now plays and the one the team wants to be built. The wording of a sports tax rebate law requires the state of Florida to contribute $2-million annually to Pro Player Stadium, where the Marlins now play, for another 22 years even if the team moves to a new park, leaves Florida or is disbanded.

METS: Funeral services for Brian Cole will be today in his hometown of Meridian, Miss. All teams in New York's minor-league system will wear a patch on their uniform sleeves in memory of Cole, an outfield prospect who died in a car accident Saturday as he was returning from spring training.

PHILLIES: The team retired the No. 14 jersey worn by Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, a Republican U.S. senator from Kentucky.

RANGERS: Right-hander Ryan Glynn, who left in the sixth inning Thursday against the Angels after being hit on the right shoulder by a line drive, is expected to make his next scheduled start Wednesday at Anaheim. He has only a bruise, but there were still some visible scars from the incident. "Just a couple of thread marks," Glynn said. He said his range of motion is good, and that he went through his normal routine Friday.

ROYALS: A spectator at the home opener was injured when he fell 12 feet from the leftfield bleachers to the warning track. Nathan Michalski, 22, was taken to a hospital with a compression fracture of the spine, a broken foot and abdominal pain. ... Second baseman Carlos Febles will start today. He missed two games after colliding with rightfielder Jermaine Dye.

WHITE SOX: Comiskey Park had a new look for the home opener. The bullpens were moved and filled in with seats, and the distances down the lines reduced. But the addition of closer seats along leftfield and rightfield foul territory produced a railing that was only knee-high, a potential danger for players chasing pops. General manager Kenny Williams said extra padding would be installed along the railing as soon as possible.

YANKEES: Derek Jeter went 1-for-3 in his final extended spring training game in Tampa and headed to New York where he will rejoin the Yankees today. ... Christian Parker had a rough debut. After earning a spot in the rotation during spring training, he gave up seven runs and left before getting an out in the third inning. He gave up two-run homers to the Blue Jays' Carlos Delgado and Jose Cruz.

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