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DODGERS

BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : Former Replacements Wary but Ready

February 15, 1996|BOB NIGHTENGALE

Pitchers Jody Treadwell and David Pyc and catcher Ron Mauer checked into Dodger camp at Vero Beach, Fla., Wednesday knowing things will be very different from a year ago.

Last year, they were in camp as strike-replacement players.

Each expressed hope that the hostility over their roles last season will be forgotten, but they realize that might be impossible. The question is how the remainder of the players react to playing alongside the former replacements, which next week will also include third baseman Mike Busch.

"On the whole, it probably is not as emotional or volatile an issue now as it was then," first baseman Eric Karros said, "but the importance is still the same. It will never be forgotten by anybody who was involved.

"Time is not going to change what happened, or nullify the importance of what happened."

Said pitcher Tom Candiotti: "We all feel the same way, but we're going to try to put it behind us. I'm not going to let any replacement stuff cloud my season."

Fred Claire, Dodger executive vice president, has no plans to address the issue in camp. He believes the replacement-player issue should be put to rest.

"We've been through that period," Claire said. "There's no reason to look back. I think we need to look forward. I really don't foresee it to be an issue."

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Hideo Nomo, who secretly has been working out for several days in Vero Beach, was swarmed by nearly 30 Japanese TV crews and photographers when he left the Dodger clubhouse.

Nomo, who studied English in the off-season and can answer a few questions without an interpreter, says he feels physically fit and is ready to improve on last season, when he was rookie of the year. He says he has no worries about reaching an agreement for a new contract.

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The Dodgers are discussing a multiyear contract with all-star right fielder Raul Mondesi, according to Claire. It would follow the Dodgers' pattern of giving multiyear contracts to their rookies of the year. Karros, the 1992 rookie of the year, received a three-year, $6.15-million contract after his second season. Catcher Mike Piazza got a three-year, $4.2-million contract after his first season.

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