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Archive for Friday, July 18, 2003

Baseball briefs

July 18, 2003

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Bechler's widow sues makers of ephedra

Baltimore -- The widow of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler has sued the manufacturer and the distributor of a dietary supplement containing ephedra for $600 million.

The 23-year-old Bechler was taking the supplement to lose weight at the start of spring training when he collapsed Feb. 16 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. His body temperature rose to more than 108 degrees and he died the next day. A bottle of Xenadrine RFA-1 was found in Bechler's locker.

Toxicology tests confirmed "significant amounts" of an over-the-counter supplement containing ephedra led to Bechler's heatstroke, along with other factors, the medical examiner said.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by Kiley Bechler in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale, also seeks a ban on the sale of ephedra-based products.

Rangers GM Hart talks to Gonzalez's agent

St. Petersburg, Fla. -- Texas Rangers general manager John Hart expects to talk again with the agent for Juan Gonzalez to determine whether the outfielder would waive his no-trade clause.

Hart and Fernando Cuza met before the Rangers' game Thursday night at Tampa Bay.

"I think we'll have more discussions," Hart said. "I'm sure we'll meet again."

Twins activate Jones, send Balfour to minors

Minneapolis -- The Minnesota Twins activated left fielder Jacque Jones from the 15-day disabled list Thursday and optioned right-hander Grant Balfour to Triple-A Rochester.

Jones was on the DL since July 1 because of a strained groin. He is hitting .300 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs.

Jones hit third for the Twins Thursday against Oakland, but manager Ron Gardenhire plans to bat him fifth or sixth once his usual No. 3 hitter -- third baseman Corey Koskie -- returns.

A's call rookie Harden

Minneapolis -- Oakland purchased the contract of rookie right-hander Rich Harden from Triple-A Sacramento Thursday. Harden, 21, becomes Oakland's No. 5 starter and will make his major-league debut Monday at Kansas City.

Arizona skipper Brenly suspended two games

San Diego -- Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly was suspended two games and fined by baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson Thursday for throwing a ball into the stands after being ejected from a game last week. The suspension will begin today.

Brenly and third base coach Eddie Rodriguez were ejected by plate umpire Tim McClelland for arguing balls and strikes during an Arizona pitching change in the seventh inning of Friday night's game against San Francisco in Phoenix.

Caray announces on TBS for first time this season

Atlanta -- Skip Caray returned to TBS' telecasts of the Atlanta Braves Thursday night, joining Joe Simpson for the first game after the All-Star break.

Caray and Pete Van Wieren, in their 28th season with the Braves, had been working games on Turner South, a regional cable network that reaches only 6.5 million homes. TBS, which announced before the season that Caray and Van Wieren would no longer be part of its telecasts, can been seen in 87 million homes.

The two announcers will join Simpson and Don Sutton in a four-man rotation that was used during the past several seasons.

Silva's suspension reduced to five games

Philadelphia -- Philadelphia Phillies reliever Carlos Silva's suspension was reduced to five games Thursday. Silva originally was suspended six games for intentionally throwing at Reds outfielder Adam Dunn, inciting a brawl June 13. Silva began his suspension Thursday night against Montreal.

Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, made the decision to cut the suspension and also upheld Silva's fine. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 39 relief appearances.

Giants shelve Santiago

San Francisco -- The San Francisco Giants placed catcher Benito Santiago on the 15-day disabled list Thursday because of a dislocated left pinkie finger. The move is retroactive to July 10.

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