Originally created 04/11/98

Baseball notes: Clemens gets scratched from Sunday start



ARLINGTON, Texas -- Roger Clemens will miss Sunday's scheduled start for Toronto Blue Jays against Texas because of recurring problems with a strained right groin.

The four-time Cy Young winner removed himself from Tuesday's start at Minnesota after only seven pitches. Clemens (1-1) hurt himself while warming up in the bullpen.

Toronto will activate right-hander Erik Hanson off the disabled list to make Sunday's start.

PUCKETT DROPPED PHONE: Former Minnesota Twins outfielder Kirby Puckett says his auto accident this week was caused by a dropped cellular phone.

Puckett needed 20 stitches to close a scalp wound after his sport-utility vehicle rolled over Sunday.

He and his father-in-law, Allan Hudson, were returning from a fishing trip when the phone fell to the floor and Puckett bent down to pick it up.

KINER ILL: Illness is forcing Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner to take an indefinite leave from his broadcasting job with the New York Mets.

Kiner's wife, DiAnn, is undergoing bone marrow therapy for cancer, and he is having trouble with his speech.

The speech problem became apparent in November, and Kiner said he is improving. Earlier, the 75-year-old Kiner traced the problem to Bell's palsy, but now he says it might also be the result of a slight stroke.

BAD DAY FOR MERCEDES: Jose Mercedes carries a schedule in his wallet now.

The Milwaukee Brewers right-hander arrived late for Thursday night's game against Montreal, mistakenly believing it started an hour later.

"Today was one of those days where everything went bad," Mercedes said. "I thought the game was at 7 o'clock."

The Brewers play night games at 6:05 p.m. CDT in April because of the cold weather, then switch to the traditional 7:05 starts in May.

Mercedes, who also forgot how many outs there were and killed a sixth-inning rally with a baserunning blunder, arrived about 20 minutes before game time.

That would have made him late even if it were a 7:05 p.m. start, said general manager Sal Bando, who said starting pitchers are supposed to show up two hours before the first pitch.

CUBS RECALL WOOD: Kerry Wood, the top pitching prospect in the Chicago Cubs' minor league system, was called up to the major leagues Friday and will start Sunday's game in Montreal.

Wood, 20, was the Cubs' top selection and the fourth overall pick in the 1995 draft.

NO BEER IN BOSTON: No beeyah at Fenway Pahk for the home openah?

What'll they do next? Paint the Green Monster blue?

For the first time since Prohibition, there was no beer served at Fenway for the first Red Sox home game, the result of the opener coinciding with Good Friday and Passover.

Team officials thought it would be in poor taste for fans to be boozing on the holy day.

PROTESTERS ARRESTED: Five protesters were arrested in the burning of an effigy Friday outside Jacobs Field in a protest of the Cleveland Indians' Chief Wahoo logo.

The arrests came three days after a city judge threw out charges against demonstrators who burned a Wahoo effigy before Game Five of last year's World Series.