Originally created 02/15/02

Players report to camp ready for new beginning



Roger Clemens climbed back on the mound and began throwing beneath the Florida sun. On a beautiful day in Arizona, Curt Schilling was getting ready, too.

Ah, the sweet sounds and sights of spring training.

After an off-season filled with bickering, baseball returned Thursday to where it does best: the field.

So, only 102 days after Clemens and Schilling started against each other in Game 7 of the World Series, they were warming for a new season.

Clemens threw in the bullpen at Tampa, Fla., on the first morning of workouts for the New York Yankees. Tossing right next to him were pitchers Mike Mussina, Andy Pettitte, Orlando Hernandez and Sterling Hitchcock.

"It's a wonderful feeling," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "When you watch those guys go out to the mound, you realize how much you rely on those people."

Schilling checked into camp in Tucson, Ariz., with the rest of the Arizona Diamondbacks' pitchers and catchers. The World Series champions will practice for the first time today.

Schilling, co-MVP of the Series with Randy Johnson, said his approach will be even better this season.

"I realized last year in the postseason that there was another level of focus and intensity that you can bring to the mound, and I want to see if I can do that over 35 starts," Schilling said.

Pedro Martinez also was at work at Boston's camp in Fort Myers, Fla.

At Vero Beach, Fla., first-year Los Angeles general manager Dan Evans said he expected Kevin Brown and newly acquired Kazuhisa Ishii to arrive at Dodgertown "sometime next week."

That should give them plenty of time to get ready. The Grapefruit and Cactus leagues exhibition season begins Feb. 27 and the regular season opener comes March 31 when Cleveland visits Anaheim.

Jose Canseco and David Cone are hoping there's time for them to find jobs. They're still looking, a day after 43-year-old Rickey Henderson got a minor-league contract with the Red Sox.

A dozen teams already have opened camp. The Minnesota Twins and Montreal Expos weren't on the field - but not because they were eliminated, as baseball tried to do during the off-season.

Instead, the Expos will open camp today and the Twins will report Sunday.

A day before the Florida Marlins started camp, new manager Jeff Torborg tried on his new uniform. He switched dugouts, moving from Montreal to the Marlins, after an ownership switch was approved by major league owners Tuesday.

"When I started doing a little research about the club, I got so many nice comments about what great chemistry this team has," Torborg said. "Everybody I spoke to - major league scouts and people in all parts of this game - said this is a special group of kids."

The Marlins are to hold their first workout Sunday in Melbourne, Fla.

"We're going to be on the field in three days, which gives us plenty of time to get ready," new Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest kidded.