Martinez Will Be Late Again

TIMES STAFF WRITER

For the second consecutive season, Ramon Martinez will take the field with the other Dodger pitchers and catchers on the first day of spring training.

But the Dodgers aren't worried.

"He has some personal things to clear up, but he will be in camp Monday," Jim Bronner, Martinez's agent, said Thursday on the eve of the camp's opening. "Although, when he did tell (Vice President) Fred Claire that he wasn't reporting on time, Claire nearly had a heart attack until he found out why."

Martinez missed 11 days at the start of camp last season because of a contract holdout. He eventually coerced the Dodgers into raising their original contract offer of $400,000 to $480,000.

Martinez still doesn't have a new contract, but this season there will be no such problems, mostly because Martinez didn't produce holdout-type numbers in 1991. Although he led the team with 17 victories, Martinez was 3-8 in the final two months. This included a loss to the San Francisco Giants with three days remaining in the season that gave the Atlanta Braves the National League West Division lead for good.

Claire said he expected the other 22 pitchers and catchers to begin workouts today, plus rehabilitating players Jeff Hamilton (knee), Stan Javier (elbow) and Greg Smith (finger). The remaining 18 players are scheduled to begin working out Wednesday.

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