Vladimir Guerrero pulled out of the World Baseball Classic yesterday, saying he will not play for the Dominican Republic because of the deaths of three of his cousins.
Fernando Guerrero, 26, Salvadore Carmona, 25, and Henry Guerrero, 23, were killed in a car accident last weekend while driving from Don Gregorio to San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic. Guerrero said he was very close to his cousins and he would not be able to focus enough to represent his country in the WBC.
Mets closer Billy Wagner and Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia withdrew from the US roster and were replaced by Nationals righthander Gary Majewski and Yankees lefthander Al Leiter. Leiter becomes the fourth player from the Yankees on the 30-man roster.
Wagner, who signed a $43 million, four-year contract with the Mets during the offseason, said he needed more time to get his arm in shape. ''I just didn't feel like I was ready yet," he said.
Sabathia, in a statement, said, ''I want to make sure I'm right. If I go there and get hurt, I feel like I'll be selling the guys here short."
Ibanez signs extension Raúl Ibáñez
and the Mariners finalized an $11 million, two-year contract extension that runs through 2008. Ibanez had 20 homers and 89 RBIs while hitting .280 last season . . . Tests on Craig Counsell's
sore right shoulder revealed a slightly torn labrum, an injury that probably will force the Diamondbacks' shortstop to miss more than a week of spring training . . . Pirates pitcher Kip Wells
said he will have surgery next week to replace a vein in his right arm, near where he has a blood clot. The 28-year-old righthander is likely to miss 5-8 months . . . The Padres signed shortstop Khalil Greene
to a one-year contract. Greene, 26, hit .250 with 15 home runs and 70 runs last season . . . Barry Bonds's
reality TV show, ''Bonds on Bonds," chronicling the Giants' slugger during his pursuit of Hank Aaron's
career home run record will debut April 4 on ESPN2. Bonds, 41, enters 2006 with 708 homers, seven shy of passing Babe Ruth
and 48 from breaking Aaron's mark.
Four-time Glove Glove winner Bret Boone
retired after 14 seasons. Boone, 36, trying to win a roster spot with the Mets, hit .221 with seven home runs and 37 runs batted last season with the Mariners and Twins . . . Randy Johnson
was picked as the Yankees' opening day starter, April 3 at Oakland, the 14th opening day assignment for Johnson, which would make him the leader among active pitchers. Roger Clemens
has made 13 opening day starts.
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