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BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : AROUND THE MAJOR LEAGUES

Tapani to Have Finger Surgery

March 29, 1997|Associated Press

Chicago Cub pitcher Kevin Tapani will have surgery next week to repair a sprained ligament in his right index finger.

The surgery is set for next Friday in New York. The Cubs say he'll begin a light throwing program in four to five weeks, but weren't specific on when he'd be back.

Tapani, who was with the Chicago White Sox in 1996, signed an $11-million, three-year contract with the Cubs last winter and was to be the No. 2 starter.

Chicago also optioned outfielder Ozzie Timmons to triple-A Iowa.

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Curt Schilling has done everything he can to convince the Phillies he's worth a $16-million, three-year guaranteed contract extension.

Now the rest is up to team President Bill Giles--and his insurance representatives.

During Thursday's 6-1 victory over Detroit, the 30-year-old right-hander scattered five hits in seven innings. In 24 innings this spring, he struck out 27 and walked four with a 2.25 ERA.

Schilling rejected an offer that would have guaranteed him $9.5 million and given him the opportunity to make $21.75 million over four years. He said he won't negotiate after opening day.

Giles has said several times over the last week that the organization wants to cover all or most of the contract extension with an insurance policy.

"Hopefully, this won't get to Monday night," the pitcher added. "I don't want any other distractions."

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The Baltimore Orioles are leaning toward putting Brady Anderson on the disabled list, even though the outfielder insists he will be able to play on opening day with a cracked rib.

Anderson, who has not played since injuring himself on Sunday, said he will try to play next Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals. The Orioles plan to make a decision on his status Monday.

The Orioles are considering putting him on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 23. The move would keep him sidelined for the first six days of the regular season.

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Chicago White Sox fans fear not. Albert Belle's first game against his old team will be played in the Windy City, not Music City.

White Sox management held Belle out of Friday's exhibition against the Cleveland Indians at Nashville. That means Belle's first at-bat against his former teammates will come May 26 at Comiskey Park.

"He's not playing today because we wanted to save that confrontation for the regular season and for the fans in Chicago," White Sox Manager Terry Bevington said.

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Mark McGwire, who has sat out the last seven games because of a sore back, hopes to rejoin the Oakland Athletics for Sunday's exhibition game against San Diego at Las Vegas. "He's optimistic about his chances of playing this weekend," Oakland Manager Art Howe said. "If everything is 100% and he feels great, we just might play him in Las Vegas."

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