Archive for Friday, March 2, 2001

Fussell sharp in Royals’ intrasquad

McGwire, Cardinals agree to two-year extension worth $30 million

March 2, 2001


Haines City, Fla. It's still early and it was just an intrasquad game, but the outing by right-hander Chris Fussell impressed Royals Manager Tony Muser.

Fussell, 24, retired all six batters he faced in the intrasquad game Thursday.

"I'm not trying to overthrow," Fussell said. "I'm hitting my spots, not trying to throw 95 (miles per hour), but stay in the 88-92 range, throw my breaking balls for strikes and use my change-up more."

Muser said Fussell has "better velocity, better movement and his breaking ball is not as easily identifiable."

Fussell made nine starts in 20 appearances last year with the Royals, but Muser said the Royals are looking at him mainly as a reliever. "He's a possible starter, but in our scenario we'd probably use him out of the pen," Muser said. "He can go either way."

In other highlights Thursday, rookie right-hander Shawn Sedlacek worked a perfect inning and struck out two. Jose Rosado threw 31 pitches over two innings in a simulated game Thursday, and his velocity was up to 82 to 83 mph.

St. Louis Cardinals

Jupiter, Fla. Mark McGwire and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed Thursday to a two-year extension worth $30 million. McGwire negotiated the extension himself, opting not to go through his agent.

"If somebody's going to complain about making $15 million, there's something wrong with him," McGwire said.

"I was telling my son the other day that I was going to sign this deal ... basically averaging $15 million a year and people are going to talk about how I'm going to be underpaid. That's pretty ridiculous."

Chicago White Sox

Tucson, Ariz. The fallout from Frank Thomas' boycott goes on.

Thomas' agents quit Wednesday night in response to his six-day boycott of the Chicago White Sox spring camp.

"It was an unfair situation for them," Thomas said Thursday. "They'd just came aboard, weren't abreast about everything. ... They had nothing to do with what went on last week. That was a personal decision."

Thomas, runner-up for the AL MVP last season, left camp March 21 because he was unhappy with some of the terms of his contract.

In a statement, agents Scott Sanderson and Mike Moye said they were quitting because they had a difference of opinion with Thomas.

Thomas, who returned to the White Sox on Tuesday the mandatory reporting date said he understood the decision.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Tucson, Ariz. The Arizona Diamondbacks exercised a $12 million option to retain Randy Johnson for the 2003 season, when he will be 39 years old.

"A young 39," Diamondbacks managing general partner Jerry Colangelo said in announcing the move Thursday.

Toronto Blue Jays

Dunedin, Fla. Mike Sirotka's injured left shoulder, the center of a disputed deal between the Chicago White Sox and Toronto, is making improvement.

Sirotka is still unable to throw, however, and the Blue Jays are not sure when he might be able to pitch.

"The doctor recommended he have another week of rehab with no throwing," Blue Jays manager Buck Martinez said.

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