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Knee Bothering Garciaparra

From Associated Press

Nomar Garciaparra smiles when he discusses his ailing right knee. Boston Manager Jimy Williams says he’s not worried. Tests scheduled for today were described as precautionary.

Still, when the defending AL batting champion misses a workout day, it’s the major topic in the Red Sox spring training camp.

Garciaparra has a sprained ligament in his right knee and will have an MRI, team physician William Morgan said Monday. There did not appear to be any swelling in the knee.

It’s “not really” worrisome, Garciaparra said. “It’s like a discomfort more than anything.”

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“If you’re ever going to really be cautious, now is the time to do it. He’s in pretty darn good shape,” Williams said.

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The San Diego Padres’ proposed new ballpark won a round in court when a judge ruled the $1-billion deal between the city and team can’t be reconsidered in another public ballot.

Bruce Henderson had wanted a public vote to review the deal to redevelop the East Village section of downtown. City officials asked the judge to reject his efforts on the grounds that an initiative must focus on legislative policy, not administrative acts.

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San Diego County Judge Judith McConnell ruled in favor of the city, upholding a tentative ruling she issued two weeks ago.

“We hit a grand slam today,” city attorney Casey Gwinn said. “This is the judge honoring Proposition C. This is honoring the people’s right to vote.”

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Second baseman Jorge Diaz and third baseman Osmani Garcia, among five Cuban national team players who fled their homeland in August 1998, agreed to minor league contracts with the Texas Rangers.

Diaz, who was on Cuba’s national team from 1995-97, agreed to a deal with triple-A Oklahoma and was invited to major league spring training as a non-roster player. He’s expected to arrive in Florida in early March. He turns 25 on March 16.

Garcia, 25, agreed to terms with double-A Tulsa. He will join the Rangers’ minor league camp in late March.

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For the second day in a row, Philadelphia Phillie ace right-hander Curt Schilling, trying to recover from surgery on his right shoulder, felt stiffness and skipped his throwing program.

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Schilling was frustrated enough to refuse interviews, but issued a two-sentence statement through the team. “I definitely feel better than I did yesterday,” he said. “We’re going to give it one more day and get back to throwing.”

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Baltimore right-hander Scott Erickson will be held out of Friday’s exhibition opener against the Cincinnati Reds because of a sprained right ankle.

It’s the second setback this spring for the No. 2 pitcher in the Oriole starting rotation. Erickson, who injured the ankle Sunday, has been sidelined since Tuesday because of stiffness in his right elbow.

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The 14-person Veterans Committee is scheduled to announce its choices for Hall of Fame induction today after its meeting in Tampa, Fla.

Among those being given the highest consideration are former manager Sparky Anderson and former players Bill Mazeroski, Mel Harder and Gil Hodges.

It takes 75 percent for election, same as with the Baseball Writers’ Assn. of America. Tony Perez and Carlton Fisk were elected in January.

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Outfielders Adam Dunn and Kimera Bartee and pitcher Rob Bell agreed to one-year contracts with the Cincinnati Reds. . . . Right-handers Joe Mays and Dan Perkins agreed to one-year contracts with the Minnesota Twins. . . . Pitcher Pete Munro and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed to a one-year contract worth $220,000.


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