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Baseball briefs

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published April 29, 2001


Texas star hobbled, insulted

CLEVELAND -- Ivan Rodriguez's left heel is bruised, and apparently so are his feelings.

Rodriguez, the Rangers' All-Star catcher, jammed his heel while running to first base in the ninth inning Friday.

X-rays taken at Lutheran Hospital late Friday night were negative, but Rodriguez was not in the lineup Saturday at Jacobs Field.

After getting his heel treated with ice in the trainer's room, Rodriguez said he may sit out the rest of the series.

"I'll see how it feels (today)," he said, rubbing his swollen heel, which is black and blue. "If it feels like this, I won't play. It's been hurting me for a couple weeks. Sometimes you expect the worst. I'm glad it's just a bruise."

After Friday's game, Rodriguez was upset and seemed annoyed that someone on Texas' bench may have questioned his toughness.

"I'm not going to name names," the nine-time All-Star said. "I'm human. I'm not an animal. I'm going to show people what kind of player I am."

Rodriguez said Saturday that the problem had been cleared up.

"I'm okay," he said. "Perfect."

ASTROS: Right-hander Octavio Dotel will skip his turn in the starting rotation today because of tightness in the upper part of his left leg. Shane Reynolds will move up to replace Dotel.

BLUE JAYS: Outfielder Jose Cruz went 0-for-4, ending his career-high hitting streak at 19 games.

CUBS: Third baseman Bill Mueller was a late scratch against the Giants because of swelling in his left knee. ... Right-hander Kevin Tapani will not start today because of a sore right knee. Right-hander Manny Aybar will take his place.

GIANTS: Leftfielder Barry Bonds was out of the lineup because of soreness in his left calf. Bonds was hit by a Kerry Wood pitch the night before.

REDS: They scored for an NL record 186th consecutive game. ... Manager Bob Boone and his son, third baseman Aaron, were ejected. Bob was thrown out in the fifth inning by plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt for arguing a non-balk call, and Aaron was tossed in the sixth for disputing a third-strike ruling.

RED SOX: Outfielder Manny Ramirez went 0-for-4 to end an eight-game hitting streak.

ROYALS: Second baseman Luis Alicea missed his third straight game with tightness in his right hamstring.

TIGERS: Reserve catcher Robert Fick confirmed he got into a fight early Thursday morning at the Hockeytown Cafe, owned by team owner Mike Ilitch. A teammate denied a Detroit television station report that Fick yelled a racial slur to initiate a fight with a bouncer. "I was standing right next to him the whole time and he never used any racial slurs," said Wendell Magee, who is black. "Why would I defend him if he did? If he would have done anything like that, there would've been a riot."

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