The long expected two-year contract extension for New York Yankee Manager Joe Torre has been finalized.
"Obviously I'm happy it happened, but it happened a long time ago. I just didn't get around to signing it," Torre said Wednesday. "We had agreed to it, probably, during the World Series."
The deal with owner George Steinbrenner, worth about $2 million a year, covers 2000 and 2001. While leaning toward stepping down when the deal expires, Torre has not ruled out a longer stay.
Chicago Cub pitcher Kerry Wood was hospitalized in Mesa, Ariz., for precautionary testing after the National League's rookie of the year missed his third straight day of workouts because of a lingering illness.
"The reason for putting him in is to get some blood cultures and see if we can pin down exactly what the cause is and just be careful and stay ahead of it," Cub team physician John Marquardt said.
Last month, Wood developed an upper respiratory ailment. Last week, Wood was hospitalized briefly with gastrointestinal problems. Marquardt said Wood lost 12 pounds.
Cub slugger Sammy Sosa said he was confident that he could keep up his spectacular hitting this season without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs used by his home-run rival Mark McGwire.
"My personal life has always been very clean and thank God what I did last year, I believe I have a great chance of doing again," he told reporters in Caracas, Venezuela, after receiving an honorary award from Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
Sosa last season hit 66 home runs, four less than McGwire, who has acknowledged taking androestenedione, a nutritional supplement that is banned by the International Olympic Committee but permitted in major league baseball pending a medical study currently underway.
"I have made all my efforts with great physical and mental training," Sosa said. "I've never touched drugs."
The agent for Curt Schilling said he doesn't expect the Philadelphia Phillies to trade the National League's strikeout leader.
"My take is that there are a lot of teams interested in Curt Schilling, but [General Manager] Ed Wade won't trade him," Jeff Borris said. "I wish Ed would change his stance on that, but he won't."
Colorado third baseman Vinny Castilla, who has played in 247 straight regular-season games, sprained his right ankle during the team's first full-squad workout in Tucson.
Castilla rolled on the ankle after making a throw. He limped off the field and was able to take batting practice after getting the ankle taped.
Ron Gant wants Tony La Russa to know he's sorry. Most of all, the Philadelphia outfielder wants the war of words with his former manager to be over.
"I apologize to the fans, to my fans, to the families. This shouldn't have happened," Gant said after the Phillies' first full-squad workout in Clearwater, Fla. "We both are adults, and we have to put it behind us."
La Russa, the St. Louis manager, and Gant have been ripping each other since the Cardinals traded Gant to Philadelphia three months ago. On Tuesday, Gant named several players who didn't like La Russa and were mistreated by him. All the players were black, leaving the comments to be interpreted as an accusation of racism.
Houston Astro outfielder Moises Alou will have surgery Wednesday to repair damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. . . . Outfielder Curtis Pride, recovering from surgery on his right wrist, agreed to a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals.