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Indians Will Start Gonzalez

AROUND THE MAJORS

March 28, 2005|From Associated Press

Juan Gone isn't going anywhere.

Juan Gonzalez will begin the season as Cleveland's starting right fielder, returning to the spot where he had one of his most productive years and adding a powerful bat to the Indians' lineup.

"Juan brings us a presence in the middle of our lineup, and that's something that can't be underestimated," Indian Manager Eric Wedge said Sunday. "I hope it makes the team better and him better."

In making Cleveland's opening-day roster, Gonzalez, 35, earned a $500,000 bonus, and he can make an additional $1.95 million if he reaches incentives based on plate appearances and overall days on the active roster.

Gonzalez's surprising addition also means that Grady Sizemore, the organization's rising star, will begin the year at triple-A Buffalo.

Sizemore batted .291 with one home run and 10 runs batted in this spring but struck out 14 times in 55 at-bats.

In recent days, General Manager Mark Shapiro and Wedge seemed to be split over what to do with Gonzalez.

Gonzalez hasn't played more than 82 games since 2001, when he batted .325 with 35 homers and 140 RBIs for the Indians.

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Bob Casey, the only public-address announcer in the history of the Minnesota Twins, died in Minneapolis after fighting liver cancer and pneumonia, his family said. He was 79.

Casey worked 44 seasons and more than 3,000 games for the Twins. He was inducted into the Twins' Hall of Fame in 2003.

Casey also worked for the Minneapolis Lakers.

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New York Met pitcher Pedro Martinez threw on the side and is expected to pitch Tuesday after skipping his last start because of a stiff lower back.

Meanwhile, Kazuhisa Ishii, traded by the Dodgers to the Mets last week, tossed two scoreless innings in a minor league game, giving up one hit, striking out three and walking none.

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