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BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE MAJOR LEAGUES

Injured Thumb Sidelines Reds' Oliver

March 24, 1997|Associated Press

Cincinnati Red catcher Joe Oliver will need surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb, sidelining him for four to six weeks. Oliver hurt the thumb while making a tag at home plate on Saturday. The thumb was more swollen on Sunday, and the Reds sent him for X-rays and an MRI that found the tear. The Reds had considered carrying three catchers--Oliver, Eddie Taubensee and Brook Fordyce--because they were out of options on Fordyce. The injury means Fordyce will become the second catcher. . . . Shawn Boskie will occupy the fifth spot in the Baltimore Orioles' starting rotation and could be one of 13 pitchers on the opening-day roster. Boskie got the nod over Scott Kamieniecki and Rick Krivda despite a 4.91 ERA this spring. . . . Cal Ripken Jr., who promises contract negotiations will end once the season starts, is optimistic he can reach an agreement that will keep him with the Orioles through 2000. Ripken, 36, is entering the final season of a five-year, $32.5-million contract. If he doesn't get an extension by April 1, contract talks will be suspended and the 14-time all-star will become a free agent after the 1997 season.

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