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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : ANGELS : Teammates Sniff at Grahe's Injury

April 23, 1993|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Angel reliever Joe Grahe is unsure what hurts worse, the pinched nerve in his neck or the constant ribbing he is receiving from his teammates.

In what may go down as the strangest injury of the season, Grahe said Thursday that he sustained the pinched nerve Monday morning by sniffing .

"I know it sounds crazy," Grahe said, shrugging his shoulders, "but that's really what happened."

Grahe says he suffered the injury when he was clearing his nasal passages. He was examined by team physicians, who diagnosed the problem when Grahe's neck failed to improve. He was unavailable for the first two games of the Cleveland series and didn't pitch Thursday.

"We've been calling him, 'Neckersley,' " reliever Chuck Crim said.

Said reliever Steve Frey: "When he told us the story how it happened, we didn't believe it. Then we thought, 'Hey, who would make up a story like that? It's too ridiculous not to be true.'

"We've been teasing him pretty good about it, but the truth is, we really need him back."

John Farrell, who won his first game Wednesday since June 21, 1990, said he will have the ball bronzed. "I want something that will symbolize perseverance," said Farrell, who received congratulatory calls Thursday from former teammates Bud Black and Scott Bailes. . . . The Chicago Cubs have offered the Angels either left-handed reliever Paul Assenmacher or left-hander Chuck McElroy, but the Angels are interested only in McElroy. It's unlikely a deal can be consummated, however, because the Cubs want at least two of the Angels' top prospects for McElroy. . . . MaryAnn Flora, the wife of Angel minor league infielder Kevin Flora, was killed Thursday in a car accident in Texas.

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