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Archive for Friday, January 28, 2005

Delgado plans to maintain war protest

January 28, 2005

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— Carlos Delgado is taking his anti-war protest to Florida.

While Delgado finalized his $52 million, four-year deal with the Marlins on Thursday, Magglio Ordonez made a counteroffer to the Detroit Tigers and Barry Larkin said he was leaning toward retirement.

Delgado, who accepted Florida's contract Tuesday, said at his introductory news conference that he would continue not to stand during the playing of "God Bless America."

He refused to stand when "God Bless America" was played last season. Instead, he would stay on the Toronto Blue Jays bench or go into the dugout tunnel.

"I wouldn't call it politics, because I hate politics," Delgado said. "The reason why I didn't stand for 'God Bless America' was because I didn't like the way they tied 'God Bless America' and 9-11 to the war in Iraq in baseball."

Marlins officials, who gave Delgado the richest per-season contract in the team's 12-year history, made no objection to his war protest.

"The Marlins don't support it, and we don't not support it," team president David Samson said. "He's an adult. The club's position is that what he does is up to him."

Ordonez, the last remaining premier free agent, told agent Scott Boras to make the counterproposal to Detroit. The outfielder met Monday with Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, team president Dave Dombrowski and manager Alan Trammell.

"Mike Ilitch indicated he was interested in making a move that would dramatically affect the franchise," Boras said.

Ordonez made $14 million last year with the Chicago White Sox and had been seeking a five-year deal before he became a free agent.

"Mike did a really good job in his meeting of expressing where the Tigers can be," Boras said. "He thought the Tigers have a very good chance of winning the AL Central. Magglio is very familiar with the AL Central and with Detroit."

Ordonez hit .292 last year with nine homers and 37 RBIs, missing most of the season because of a knee injury that needed two operations.

"They talked to the doctors and were very comfortable Magglio is healthy," Boras said.

Also Thursday, pitcher Hideo Nomo agreed to a minor-league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Japanese infielder Tadahito Iguchi finalized his $4.95 million, two-year deal with the Chicago White Sox. Infielder George Arias, a former standout in the Japanese leagues, agreed to a minor-league contract with the Washington Nationals, reliever Jay Powell reached a preliminary agreement on a minor-league deal with the Atlanta Braves, and utilityman Damian Rolls also reached a preliminary agreement on a minor-league contract with the New York Yankees.

Houston outfielder Lance Berkman was among five players in salary arbitration who settled, agreeing to a $10.5 million, one-year contract. Houston will continue to work for a multiyear deal with the All-Star, expected to miss the start of the season after injuring his knee playing flag football.

Arizona right-hander Mike Koplove received a $2 million, two-year deal, Milwaukee outfielder Brady Clark agreed to a $1.15 million, one-year contract and Atlanta right-hander Kevin Gryboski accepted a $877,500, one-year contract. Anaheim backup catcher Josh Paul settled at $450,000, leaving 26 players still scheduled for hearings next month.

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