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Gagne Is '50-50' About Returning

September 16, 1997|STEVE SPRINGER

People talk about Dodger shortstop Greg Gagne as if he was already retired.


While speculation swirls about who will be at short for the Dodgers next season, Gagne says there is still "a 50-50" chance it will be him.

Gagne, who will be 36 in November after finishing his 15th major league season, hates the fact that he is separated from his wife and three young children, all 10 or under, for most of the season because they live back in Massachusetts.

Since the July All-Star break, Gagne has seen his family only once, spending a few hurried hours with them in New York during the Dodgers' last trip there.

If anything drives Gagne out of the game, it will be the long separations.

"I will sit down with my wife and family when the season is over and make a decision on what I am going to do," Gagne said.

Dodger executive vice-president Fred Claire, when asked if Wilton Guerrero or Juan Castro or some future free agent out there is the next Dodger shortstop, merely smiles and says it might be the guy already standing there. He's been through this before with Gagne.

"I remember after last season," Claire said, "I told Greg that he was too young to retire, way too young. After he rested up and thought about it, he said, 'Let's go out to the yard and play some ball.' "

Gagne won't have the luxury of taking a while to make his decision. The Dodgers must protect 15 players before the expansion draft in the middle of November.



Busch Stadium, 5 p.m.

TV--FX. Radio--KABC (790), KWKW (1330).

Update--The Dodgers are waiting for right-hander Ramon Martinez, who missed two months because of a torn rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder, to regain his full strength. Considered the ace of the staff until the injury, Martinez hasn't gone more than six innings in any of the four starts he has made since returning. He couldn't pick a better time to extend himself than tonight. Having gone through his entire bullpen in Monday night's 15-inning game, and having watched his closer, Todd Worrell, collapse again in that game, Manager Bill Russell would be thrilled to get a seven-or eight-inning performance from a starter, especially with the San Francisco Giants waiting on deck for the two-game showdown series that starts Wednesday.

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