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Captaincy Not Part of His Trade

From Associated Press

Barry Larkin removed the small “C” that designates him the captain of the Cincinnati Reds from his uniform Saturday, a day after the club traded Lenny Harris.

The “C” was missing from above his No. 11 in Cincinnati’s 5-4 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Larkin said he has not resigned his position as captain, but was making a point.

"[Harris] was the alternate captain,” Larkin said. “We lost some of the heart out of our team by trading Lenny. That was my reaction. This is not a protest. He was the guy on this team that I called captain, so away went the ‘C.’ It’s no big deal.”

It was the latest development in Larkin’s slowly eroding relationship with the Reds, who are rebuilding by trading away their veterans for prospects.

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On Friday, they sent Harris to the New York Mets for 31-year-old reliever John Hudek. He became a candidate for the closer’s job when the Reds traded Jeff Shaw to the Dodgers on Saturday for first baseman Paul Konerko and pitcher Dennis Reyes.

Earlier this season, Larkin asked the Reds to trade him because he doesn’t fit on a team that won’t contend for years. He probably will be dealt this month.

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Albert Belle says he’s staying with the Chicago White Sox for the long haul, no matter how bad they get.

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Belle said he has no plans to ask for a trade to escape a team that was playing well under .500 ball and far of first place in the American League Central Division .

“I told [Manager] Jerry Manuel I’m going down with the ship, that I made a choice to play with the White Sox when I signed a contract and I’m going to do it,” Belle said.

But he also said the White Sox could be contenders in a couple of seasons if they stay the course with youth and make some select free-agent acquisitions.

“We have to keep the same group and run ‘em out there every day,” Belle said. “You never know what’s going to happen with free agents in the off-season. Obviously, you’d like to get someone right now, but that’s not going to happen.

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“We can’t look at all the young players for our record. It’s been all 25 of us. No one person is to blame, no manager is to blame.”

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Sometime this afternoon, Roger Clemens is expected to get his 3,000th career strikeout at the SkyDome in Toronto.

Clemens needs five strikeouts today against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to become the 11th pitcher with 3,000 career strikeouts. Eight of the 10 pitchers with 3,000 strikeouts are in the Hall of Fame. The two that aren’t, Nolan Ryan and Bert Blyleven, aren’t eligible yet.

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His workout regimen includes such unusual exercises as massaging a bowl of uncooked rice to strengthen his fingers. The 35-year-old also keeps a collection of notebooks in which he compiles the habits of batters and umpires, as well as his own shortcomings.


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