BASEBALL ROUNDUP Spring training news and notes
Giants: Barry Bonds was scheduled to have minor surgery on his left elbow today, and the San Francisco slugger is expected to miss only a few days of spring training workouts. The five-time MVP complained of tenderness to Giants trainer Stan Conte after arriving at camp Tuesday. Conte said the pain stems from surgery in 1999, when doctors repaired a tear in Bonds' left triceps and removed a bone spur from the back of his elbow. Conte compared Bonds' procedure to removing a thorn from the bottom of his foot. "I don't think it'll cause him any big delays," Conte said. "This is not a big deal. We could have not done anything to this. It's a minor irritation that started to bother him. Our concern was that it might get worse as the season went on, then we'd have a problem. Now is the time to take care of it. Once the suture is removed, that's the end of the story." The 38-year-old Bonds was an early arrival to camp. Position players for the defending NL champions officially reported today.
Yankees: Hideki Matsui sure knows how to draw a crowd. Legends Field was packed with so many reporters that the New York Yankees' first full workout of the spring looked like a postseason game. About 1,500 fans were in the seats to watch batting practice. "Wow -- look at this group," manager Joe Torre said. "I didn't anticipate that many people in the stands." Japanese television stations went live to the ballpark before the morning workout, which started at 12:30 a.m. back home. NHK, which will broadcast the Feb. 27 exhibition opener live at 3:15 a.m. in Japan, manned a high-definition camera above the center-field fence. For the record -- and with Japanese players, everything seems to be recorded -- Matsui hit four home runs in 51 swings during his first official batting practice. He started off by taking 39 swings over four rounds with a heavy, fungo bat, then hit with his regular wood, connecting twice for homers in his final 12 swings.
Angels: Becoming the first rookie to win Game 7 of the World Series in 93 years certainly did wonders for Anaheim pitcher John Lackey. "It still doesn't seem like that long ago when I was in Salt Lake, just trying to make it to the majors, and I thought it would take a while," he said. Once he was promoted from Triple-A in late June, it was a whirlwind for the lanky right-hander. "It took some time for me to completely appreciate what had happened in the World Series and all. I finally got to sit down and watch the video of the celebration and everything, and I thought, 'Hey, that's me, right there in the middle of it.' " The 24-year-old Lackey started Game 7 because Ramon Ortiz had a sore wrist, and limited San Francisco to one run and four hits in five innings. The Angels won 4-1 for the first World Series title in their 42-year history.
Other notes: Jose Canseco appears to be having a difficult time adjusting to life after baseball. The former All-Star outfielder could remain in jail until a March 17 sentencing hearing, after a judge ordered him held without bond for violating terms of his probation for a 2001 fight at a Miami Beach nightclub. Canseco was sent to Miami-Dade County Jail on Tuesday by Judge Leonard E. Glick, who had issued an arrest warrant for the former major league slugger last week. The arrest warrant stemmed from a probation officer's report which said Canseco was not taking his sentence seriously. The report detailed how the six-time All-Star failed to begin anger control classes and community service, and that he had left Florida for longer than 30 days, all violations of the terms of his sentence.