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Around The Area Camps

Duo puts on guard against Rocket

By CHRIS ROTAR

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 27, 1999


TAMPA -- Roger Clemens pitched batting practice for the first time as a Yankee Friday, and SS Derek Jeter and 2B Chuck Knoblauch had a unique way of welcoming the Rocket. Both donned full catcher's garb before stepping in against Clemens, recently acquired in a trade with Toronto.

"We were just joking around," said Jeter, who has a history of getting hit by Clemens' pitches and jokingly vowed revenge. "He's part of the team now, and he knows it."

The five-time Cy Young winner had his own brand of humor in return.

"To make 'em feel right at home I went ahead and threw those ones behind 'em," he said.

EAGER ANDY: LHP Andy Pettitte, who has had a sore elbow, has not thrown batting practice. But it's not because he doesn't want to.

"I'm trying to get them to let me throw batting practice," Pettitte said. "I feel fine."

The Yankees want Pettitte, who had an elbow problem in 1998, to take it slowly. Manager Joe Torre said Pettitte likely would not pitch batting practice today.

NO KEY: Former Yankee LHP Jimmy Key decided not to come out of retirement, Torre said. --

Hentgen's arm shows life

DUNEDIN -- There was no speed bump in Pat Hentgen's performance Friday morning as he erased doubts about his ability to rebound from the shoulder tendinitis that ended his season in early September

Hentgen had been throwing in the bullpen with no movement and little zip. Not Friday.

"It was like day and night from him throwing in the bullpen," assistant GM Dave Stewart said. "He threw good today."

"It felt good, real good," Hentgen said. "I threw all my pitches and I threw pain-free. I went 15 minutes and that's all part of building up your endurance. I can't be any happier."

ROTATION SET: Chris Carpenter starts against the Yankees Thursday, followed by Joey Hamilton, Kelvim Escobar, Roy Halladay in the first game of a doubleheader March 7 and Hentgen. CONTRACT TALK: The Jays reached agreement with LHP Steve Sinclaird.
-- SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Bug bites workout

CLEARWATER -- Call it the Phillies Phlu

A dozen players, including 3B Scott Rolen, RF Bobby Abreu, C Mike Lieberthal and 1B Rico Brogna, never made it to the Carpenter Complex for the workout.

Three more, including CF Doug Glanville and reliever Wayne Gomes, were sent home after abbreviated workouts.

Several staff members took ill, with the toll rising as the day wore on.

"We just wanted to get our work in and get out as fast as we could because we know this will get passed around," manager Terry Francona said.

CURT OKAY: The Phillies were relieved when ace Curt Schilling was able to pitch his scheduled 10 minutes of live batting practice after having to cut his Thursday workout short because of lower back spasms.

"It was really sore but it wasn't stiff," Schilling said. "It's kind of like when you have a headache and it goes away, but your head still hurts."

CONTRACT NEWS: SS Desi Relaford agreed to a one-year, $260,000 contract, leaving six players unsigned.- SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

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