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Archive for Wednesday, July 4, 2001

Baseball Briefs

July 4, 2001

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Oakland acquires Gant in deal with Rockies

Oakland, Calif. The Oakland Athletics acquired power-hitting outfielder Ron Gant from the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday for outfielder Robin Jennings.

The deal, in the works for several days, puts another right-handed hitter in the A's slumping lineup. Oakland has lacked consistent production from that side of the plate, with often-injured John Jaha's retirement last week only adding to the woes.

Gant is expected to report to the A's in time today's game against Anaheim.

Gant joins his seventh major league team and fourth in three years. He has averaged 26 homers over his last 10 seasons, and he has hit 20 or more homers seven times in his career.

He hit .257 with eight homers and 22 RBIs for the Rockies, who used him as a part-time starter in the outfield.

Gant signed a one-year, $1.75 million deal with the Rockies in the offseason. The trade was held up for two days while the teams haggled over how much of Gant's remaining salary would be paid by Colorado.

Dreifort to miss at least one year

Los Angeles High-priced right-hander Darren Dreifort will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his pitching elbow for the second time in his career and miss at least a year.

The "Tommy John" surgery Dreifort will undergo next Tuesday at Centinela Hospital Medical Center in nearby Inglewood will be similar to the operation performed on his elbow March 14, 1995 a procedure that kept him out of action that entire season.

"I'm OK right now, I'm not dead," Dreifort said with a thin smile before the Dodgers played the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night. "The better thing this time is I'm part of the team.

"The surgery's been done a few thousand times. It's only had to be re-done a few times. It's like playing the lottery, not a lottery you want to win."

The 29-year-old Dreifort signed a five-year, $55 million contract with the Dodgers last winter. He was 4-7 with a 5.13 ERA this season.

He left last Friday night's game in San Diego after striking out Ben Davis leading off the sixth inning, but waited until Tuesday to have an MRI because of swelling in his elbow.

Padres activate Gwynn from DL

San Diego Eight-time NL batting champion Tony Gwynn was activated from the 15-day disabled list by the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.

Gwynn, who announced last week that he'll retire at the end of the season, will be initially available only to pinch hit.

Gwynn was first sidelined April 21 with a strained right hamstring. He was activated May 8, only to re-injure the hamstring after two games, and headed back to the DL on May 11.

"I'm just grateful I might get an opportunity here and there before we get to the All-Star break," Gwynn said. "It's nice to be a part of things again."

Gwynn, in his 20th season with San Diego, has played in just 16 games. The outfielder is hitting .333 in 48 at-bats with six RBIs.

Mets add Alfonzo

New York New York Mets second baseman Edgardo Alfonzo came off the 15-day disabled list Tuesday hopeful that his lingering back problems are behind him. Alfonzo, who had been out since June 14 with a lower back strain, went 0-for-3 with a walk in his first game back.

Ruth's grandson dies

Meriden, Conn. Babe Ruth's grandson, who relatives say bore a remarkable resemblance to the Sultan of Swat, died Monday of a stroke. He was 51. Rich Pirone's mother was Dorothy Ruth Pirone, Ruth's daughter. Pirone was born in 1950, two years after Babe Ruth died.

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