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Area Camps

Day after trade calm for Yanks

By MIKE READLING

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 20, 1999


TAMPA -- The day after dealing with the distraction of the blockbuster trade that sent David Wells to Toronto for Roger Clemens, it was back to concentrating on the season for Yankees players and coaches Friday.

Clemens is expected to be in Tampa this afternoon but probably won't practice until Sunday.

"He has such a presence when he comes into a room. Just because he's Roger Clemens but also because he is very big physical presence," pitcher David Cone said of the 6-4, 230-pound right-hander. "Plus, I'm looking forward to seeing his legendary, intense pregame ritual."

After the workout Thursday Cone drove to Wells' new Tampa home to discuss the trade.

"He didn't take it very well at all," Cone said. "He's very disappointed. He was pacing around the room. I don't think it had sunk all the way in yet. We talked a long time and I told him he was too good and too cheap. Too good of a pitcher with too cheap of a contract. It was tough to see him like that."

Cone said Wells left Thursday night for Miami to play golf and "get away for a little while." He does not have to report to Blue Jays camp until Monday.

STRAW ON BIG CAT: Darryl Strawberry said he could sympathize with the emotions of Braves first baseman Andres Galarraga, who will miss this season while battling cancer.

Strawberry missed last year's World Series and is still undergoing chemotherapy treatments for a tennis ball-sized tumor removed from his colon in October.

"He's facing a very difficult road ahead of him," Strawberry said. "Just having to go through chemo is bad, but I heard that he has to go through chemo and radiation. That tells me this is a very serious situation he is facing.

"I'm going to try to get his number and give him a call. Just say some encouraging things, let him know what he's up against."

EARLY DEPARTURE: RHP Jason Grimsley left in the middle of the workout to fly to Texas for his grandmother's funeral.

Schilling starts trade talk

CLEARWATER -- No. 1 starter Curt Schilling created a stir during the first formal workout by again suggesting it might be in the team's best interest to trade him

"I know there are still some teams out there looking (for pitching)," he said. "And I would think I'm one who could be available.I would think that, for the right price, the Phillies would be willing to move me. Why? Because of the situation the team is in financially and otherwise."

GM Ed Wade continues to deny Schilling will be shipped.

"Curt's got his perspective and I've got mine, but I think we both want what's best for the ballclub," Wade said. "I think what's best is to have him here pitching for us. If that changes, Curt will be the first to know."

FEEL THE POWER: Ron Gant, acquired from the Cardinals to add pop to the lineup, put on an impressive display in batting practice. "I saw some swings that I wish there were 30,000 people in the stands and two men on when he did it," Wade said.

Gant hit 26 homers in 383 at-bats last season with St. Louis. Scott Rolen led the Phils with 31.

ETC.: Closer Jeff Brantley was particularly impressive on the first day."I was shocked at how ready he looked," manager Terry Francona said. . . . All 27 pitchers and seven catchers who were expected to be in camp arrived on time. Left-hander Paul Spoljaric, however, missed the workout with the flu. . . . One story line this spring will be the health of catcher Mike Lieberthal, who missed the final two months of last season with a rare pelvic injury. He reported no problems Friday. "But you can bet there will be at least one pair of eyes on him at all times," Francona said. . . . The Phillies, like all teams, will wear specially designed mesh caps for workouts during spring training and in the regular season. The Phillies' version is red with a blue P on the front flanked by two blue stars.


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