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SPRING TRAINING ROUNDUP News and notes



Published: Fri, February 25, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Dodgers: Closer Eric Gagne sprained a ligament in his left knee Thursday during the team's first full-squad workout of spring training, and will undergo an MRI exam. Gagne didn't seem particularly concerned, but trainer Stan Johnston said the 29-year-old right-hander probably will have his activity limited for about a week. Johnston said the injury needs about six weeks to fully heal. "I turned around and a cleat got stuck," Gagne said. "I just twisted my knee a little bit. I'm not concerned. There's no swelling, and that's a really good sign. I don't want to start aggravating anything. It's early in camp." Infielder Norihiro Nakamura, signed to a minor league contract, was not in camp because of visa problems. Manager Jim Tracy said he had no idea when Nakamura, a 31-year-old veteran of 13 seasons with the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes in Japan's Pacific League, would report.Orioles: Rafael Palmeiro is leaving open the possibility of filing a lawsuit against Jose Canseco, who said he introduced the first baseman to steroids in 1992 when both players were with the Texas Rangers. Canseco cited Palmeiro as a steroid user in his new book. In an interview on the CBS television show "60 Minutes," Canseco said he injected the drug into Palmeiro. Palmeiro issued a statement last month in which he denied ever using steroids, and he emphatically backed up that assertion Thursday after his first practice of spring training. Palmeiro also said he's considered hiring the law firm of Orioles owner Peter Angelos to take legal action against Canseco. "The one thing I can say is I have the best law firm and the best lawyer standing in the wings in Peter Angelos," he said. "I have options available for me. He stands behind me and he's ready. I will look at all my options and I'll decide."Cubs: Manager Dusty Baker and some of his players were disputing some comments Sammy Sosa made when he reported to the Orioles' camp. At a news conference Wednesday, Sosa was asked about comments by Cubs players who said he and the team were better off following the Feb. 2 trade. Sosa apparently interpreted that as the Cubs saying they didn't need him anymore. "They lie," Sosa was quoted as saying in several newspapers. The Cubs insisted Thursday that's not what they said or meant. "Did I say that?" asked Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood. "I never did say it, so apparently somebody else lies. Not him. I'm not talking about him. I never said we were better without Sammy. I said I think both teams got better in the off-season not because we got rid of Sammy but because of some other moves we made." Braves: Tim Hudson's agent said he was hopeful of working out a contract extension before the March 1 deadline set by the pitcher. Hudson, acquired from Oakland in mid-December, is entering the final year of his contract. "We had a bunch of different conversations with the Braves. They've been positive," agent Paul Cohen said. "Obviously, we're apart financially. We'll continue to have discussions. I think there's a chance it could get done."

Dodgers: Closer Eric Gagne sprained a ligament in his left knee Thursday during the team's first full-squad workout of spring training, and will undergo an MRI exam. Gagne didn't seem particularly concerned, but trainer Stan Johnston said the 29-year-old right-hander probably will have his activity limited for about a week. Johnston said the injury needs about six weeks to fully heal. "I turned around and a cleat got stuck," Gagne said. "I just twisted my knee a little bit. I'm not concerned. There's no swelling, and that's a really good sign. I don't want to start aggravating anything. It's early in camp." Infielder Norihiro Nakamura, signed to a minor league contract, was not in camp because of visa problems. Manager Jim Tracy said he had no idea when Nakamura, a 31-year-old veteran of 13 seasons with the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes in Japan's Pacific League, would report.Orioles: Rafael Palmeiro is leaving open the possibility of filing a lawsuit against Jose Canseco, who said he introduced the first baseman to steroids in 1992 when both players were with the Texas Rangers. Canseco cited Palmeiro as a steroid user in his new book. In an interview on the CBS television show "60 Minutes," Canseco said he injected the drug into Palmeiro. Palmeiro issued a statement last month in which he denied ever using steroids, and he emphatically backed up that assertion Thursday after his first practice of spring training. Palmeiro also said he's considered hiring the law firm of Orioles owner Peter Angelos to take legal action against Canseco. "The one thing I can say is I have the best law firm and the best lawyer standing in the wings in Peter Angelos," he said. "I have options available for me. He stands behind me and he's ready. I will look at all my options and I'll decide."Cubs: Manager Dusty Baker and some of his players were disputing some comments Sammy Sosa made when he reported to the Orioles' camp. At a news conference Wednesday, Sosa was asked about comments by Cubs players who said he and the team were better off following the Feb. 2 trade. Sosa apparently interpreted that as the Cubs saying they didn't need him anymore. "They lie," Sosa was quoted as saying in several newspapers. The Cubs insisted Thursday that's not what they said or meant. "Did I say that?" asked Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood. "I never did say it, so apparently somebody else lies. Not him. I'm not talking about him. I never said we were better without Sammy. I said I think both teams got better in the off-season not because we got rid of Sammy but because of some other moves we made." Braves: Tim Hudson's agent said he was hopeful of working out a contract extension before the March 1 deadline set by the pitcher. Hudson, acquired from Oakland in mid-December, is entering the final year of his contract. "We had a bunch of different conversations with the Braves. They've been positive," agent Paul Cohen said. "Obviously, we're apart financially. We'll continue to have discussions. I think there's a chance it could get done."




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