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Baseball briefs

Compiled from Times staff and wire reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 12, 2000

Rays take 3 pitchers off roster

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Devil Rays on Wednesday began re-structuring for next season, taking pitchers Dave Eiland, Tony Fiore and Trevor Enders off the 40-man roster.

Eiland and Fiore likely will become free agents, which would allow them to negotiate with any team. Enders was moved to the Triple-A Durham roster.

The moves were made so the Rays could reinstate pitchers Wilson Alvarez, Juan Guzman and Ryan Rupe from the 60-day disabled list and place them on the 40-man roster.

Eiland, a 34-year-old right-hander, bounced between the rotation, the bullpen and the disabled list, posting a 2-3 record and 7.24 ERA. Fiore, a nine-year minor-leaguer, made his big-league debut in late August and worked out of the bullpen. He was 1-1 with an 8.40 ERA.

Enders, a left-handed reliever, had been in the Rays' minor-league system since 1996 before being called up in September. He went 0-1 with a 10.61 ERA.

Alvarez missed the season with shoulder problems, and Guzman made one start. Both had surgery. Rupe was sidelined in September with a blood clot in his right arm.

TROUBLE FOR RED SOX?: Two weeks before the Red Sox were put up for sale, the team learned it could fall $35-million short in financing for a new ballpark, the Boston Globe reported Wednesday.

FleetBoston Financial Corp. sent the team a letter Sept. 19, saying "major issues" needed to be resolved before financing could proceed, the newspaper said.

The $35-million did not count possible escalation in project costs.

The team has proposed a $665-million ballpark to replace 88-year-old Fenway Park, the smallest and oldest park in the majors. The proposal calls for $312-million in public money, with the team to pick up the rest.

Team officials said the letter was "preliminary" and didn't affect chief executive John Harrington's decision to sell the majority stake in the team.

GIANTS: In a radio interview, manager Dusty Baker said he was disappointed he hadn't received a phone call from team president Peter Magowan since San Francisco was eliminated from the National League playoffs Sunday. Baker's contract expires Dec. 31.

John Henry Williams, son of Red Sox legend Ted Williams and president of Ted Williams Family Enterprises, plans to put a group together and bid to buy the team.

DODGERS: Future Hall of Famer Eddie Murray is a candidate to succeed fired manager Davey Johnson, the Los Angeles Times reported. ... Maury Wills, who stole a then-record 104 bases for Los Angeles in 1962, has been hired as organizational baserunning and bunting coordinator.

PHILLIES: Former Philadelphia catchers Darren Daulton and Bob Boone were interviewed as possible replacements for fired manager Terry Francona.

PIRATES: A's bench coach Ken Macha, a Pittsburgh native who played briefly with the team, interviewed for the manager's job. Gene Lamont was fired Oct. 2. ... Right-hander Francisco Cordova, who missed more than half the season with elbow problems, is scheduled to begin a throwing program Sunday at the spring training complex in Bradenton.

RANGERS: Left-hander Kenny Rogers had arthroscopic surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow. The Plant City resident is expected to begin throwing in about six weeks.

ROYALS: Outfielder Johnny Damon and agent Scott Boras said they will wait to see what moves the team makes in the off-season, and maybe even in 2001, before starting contract negotiations. Damon, 26, is under contract through 2001.

WHITE SOX: Right-hander James Baldwin, bothered by a sore shoulder, is scheduled to be examined Wednesday by noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., and might have arthroscopic surgery.

- Staff writer Marc Topkin contributed to this report.

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