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BASEBALL EXTRA | AROUND THE LEAGUE

Elster Could Miss Rest of Season

May 18, 1997|From Associated Press

The Pittsburgh Pirates, who were making more out of less than any team in the majors, suddenly must replace not only their best defensive player but their top run producer.

Kevin Elster, who broke his left wrist in a first-base collision with Florida's Kurt Abbott on Friday, underwent several hours of surgery Saturday and will miss at least three months--or, nearly the rest of the season.

"It's a tough loss because he has supplied some power and has been great on the ballclub," Pittsburgh Manager Gene Lamont said. "But somebody else will have to pick it up and drive in some runs for us--Mark Johnson or Jason [Kendall] or Jose Guillen. We'll find a way."

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Cincinnati Manager Ray Knight got his second ejection in 17 days and raged at the umpire before leaving the field.

Knight, coaching third base for the second consecutive game, argued when umpire Jerry Layne called Deion Sanders out at third as he tried to advance on a third-inning single at San Diego.

"I saw the foot hit the bag before the glove touched him and I was right on top of it," Knight said. "He was clearly safe when they called him out. I was basically shocked."

Knight kept arguing after Layne told him to stop, drawing the ejection. Knight kicked dirt on third base, uprooted it and slammed it down before leaving the field to a standing ovation from the fans.

"He said I bumped him and was spitting on him," Knight said. "I didn't bump him. But with what I was saying, some projectiles might have come out."

The umpires left when reporters went to their dressing room seeking comment about Knight's statements.

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Cincinnati third baseman Willie Greene severely twisted his left ankle during infield practice before the Reds played San Diego. Greene was helped off the field and went for X-rays that found no fracture.

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San Diego put reliever Dario Veras on the 15-day disabled list because of a sore shoulder. Veras was on the disabled list from April 23-May 9 with a groin strain.

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