Inconsistent Rivera Put on Waivers By Padres

From Associated Press

After four wildly inconsistent seasons, the San Diego Padres finally gave up on center fielder Ruben Rivera.

Rivera, sensational in the field but often awful at the plate, was put on unconditional release waivers Wednesday.

"There's just no consistency," General Manager Kevin Towers said.

If Rivera clears waivers Friday, the Padres would owe $163,394 in termination pay from his $1 million salary. After Friday, the termination pay would have increased to $245,902 through the end of spring training, at which point the entire salary would have become guaranteed.

The Padres also placed left-hander Scott Karl on unconditional release waivers.

In four seasons, Rivera produced a .201 batting average, 46 home runs and 341 strikeouts. He led the Padres in strikeouts the last two seasons, with 143 in 1999 and 137 in 2000.

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Milwaukee Brewer shortstop Mark Loretta will have surgery today to repair a torn ligament in his thumb and will miss six to eight weeks.

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Atlanta Brave catcher Javy Lopez will miss three to four weeks after breaking his left ring finger.

Lopez was hurt Tuesday blocking a pitch by Greg Maddux in the first inning of a 7-3 loss to the Dodgers.

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Boston Red Sox right fielder Manny Ramirez took himself out of a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins in the middle of the third inning because of a mild left hamstring strain.

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Travis Fryman, coming off a career year at bat and in the field for the Cleveland Indians, will be sidelined at least a week because of a sore right elbow.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates' pitching problems grew worse when Francisco Cordova's elbow began hurting again and Kris Benson was scratched from his next start because of elbow soreness.

Jason Schmidt, coming off rotator cuff surgery, already has a cartilage injury.

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Former home run king Roger Maris' family will seek $2.5 billion in a breach-of-contract lawsuit against beer giant Anheuser-Busch, their attorney, Willie Gary said. The family members took over the lucrative Ocala-Gainesville (Fla.) beer distributorship after Maris' death in 1985, but Anheuser-Busch canceled the deal soon afterward.

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