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Ex-Ray Martinez stays mobile

By ROGER MILLS and Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 16, 2000

If the Tampa Bay area, the airport and Tropicana Field seem familiar to Rangers outfielder Dave Martinez, that's because they are.

After all, Martinez spent two seasons with the Rays.

But when you've played 15 seasons with seven teams, the process of being traded becomes second nature.

Martinez was traded to the Chicago Cubs on May 12 for reliever Mark Guthrie. On Friday, the Cubs sent him to Texas as part of a three-team deal.

"I tried to call my wife," Martinez said Friday. "She's going to be shocked. But we have no control over stuff like this. ... You wish (trades) wouldn't happen, but they're part of the game. On the other hand, a team wants you, and that's good in a way. And I moved up in the standings, which is good. ...

"The only time we've bought (a house) is for an investment, and I'm not even going to do that anymore."

The Rangers hope the 35-year-old brings stability and versatility to an injury-plagued outfield.

"He's got to be ready to play all three outfield positions," Rangers manager Johnny Oates said. "He's probably played more centerfield recently than anybody on our team. We'll go with this for a while and see how it works. Where he hits, though, I'm not sure."

GETTING A CHANCE: When Oates moved lefty Matt Perisho from the bullpen to the starting rotation, observers expected it to be temporary. But Oates has made it clear that Perisho's start Saturday in place of Mark Clark is no audition.

"Until he does something to change my mind or until somebody else does, he's a permanent member of our rotation," Oates said Tuesday. "We're going to give this a chance."

Perisho, 25, has made three starts with the Rangers over the past three seasons. Two came in 1997 and the other in the final game of 1999.

"I'm not going to worry about how long this chance is going to last," Perisho said. "I'm just going to stay focused and relaxed. I keep a journal and I looked back and saw how I felt when I was pitching well as a starter (in the minor leagues). On those days, I was totally relaxed. I was free of worry. That's how I intend to go about this."

BAD TIMING: Shortly after Oates named Triple-A Oklahoma's Doug Davis as a possible replacement for starters Esteban Loaiza and Darren Oliver, the left-hander struggled in a game at Salt Lake City. Davis allowed 10 runs on 11 hits, including four home runs, and walked three in 51/3 innings. His two-year record at Oklahoma dropped to 13-2.

BITS N PIECES: Tuesday, infielder Frank Catalanotto made his first major-league appearance in rightfield. Catalanotto, who took over in the ninth after pinch-hitting, has played first and second base this season. ... Outfielder Jason McDonald cleared waivers Wednesday and was assigned to Oklahoma. Still at his Sacramento home, McDonald has 72 hours to accept the assignment or forfeit his contract and become a free agent. Before leaving the team Saturday, McDonald said he would accept the assignment.

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