Major League Baseball
Clemens Arrives, Deflects Questions
KISSIMMEE - Roger Clemens arrived at the Houston Astros' minor-league clubhouse on Tuesday and walked straight to a fenced-in bullpen to greet his oldest son, Koby, a catcher in the Astros' system. He snapped at a photographer who started clicking pictures. "This isn't a zoo!" Clemens barked. The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was calmer a few minutes later, but refused to answer questions about the Mitchell Report or a possible criminal investigation into his denials of steroid use."Everything's been said that needs to be said on that," Clemens said. "We're moving forward. It's baseball time." Clemens will pitch batting practice from today through Friday to minor-leaguers. He arrived one day after The New York Times reported a House committee had drafted a letter asking the Justice Department to look into whether Clemens committed perjury. "I'm not commenting on any of that," Clemens said. "Everything's said that needs to be said on that topic." Clemens also deflected questions about reports that a photo exists showing Clemens at a party thrown by Jose Canseco in June 1998. WOMEN UMPIRES: David Wright homered his first time up and the New York Mets tied the University of Michigan 4-4 in an exhibition game worked by an umpiring crew of four women. The umpiring crew was unique, with Perry Barber at home plate, Mona Osborne at first base, Theresa Fairlady at second base and Ila Valcarcel at third base. Fairlady reached the Double-A level in the late 1980s and Barber and Valcarcel went to the Harry Wendelstedt umpiring school in 2005 and worked college games. Osborne is a former college umpire. CARDINALS: Manager Tony La Russa said his pitchers would bat eighth in spring training games in which the designated hitter is not used. La Russa then plans to continue the practice once the regular season starts. La Russa inserted a position player in the ninth spot behind the pitcher for the final 56 games last season and the Cardinals went 28-28. CUBS: Mark DeRosa visited a Chicago cardiologist, and Manager Lou Piniella said he expects the infielder back in camp next week. The Cubs issued no report on DeRosa's medical tests. He was hospitalized over the weekend after experiencing an irregular heartbeat - DeRosa later said he's had the condition since he was a teenager. GIANTS: Shortstop Omar Vizquel will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today and is expected to miss four to six weeks. The 11-time Gold Glove shortstop tested his knee Tuesday but said the pain was too much to handle. MARLINS: Alejandro De Aza had two hits and an RBI to help Florida beat the University of Miami 7-2. METS: Pedro Martinez will wait to see whether the team wants him back in 2009. Martinez is beginning the final season of his four-year, $53 million deal and eager to find out how his right shoulder holds up. He had major surgery on it in October 2006, spent most of last year recovering and went 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA in five starts. "If they approach me, that's fine," he said. "I'm very content, very satisfied with the way they have treated me here. They have my respect, regardless of whether they offer me or not, or I have to go somewhere else." PHILLIES: Manager Charlie Manuel said that Brett Myers will start on Opening Day. RANGERS: Right-hander Brandon McCarthy will not start the team's spring training opener because of soreness in his right elbow. REDS: Shortstop Alex Gonzalez is expected to miss the first few spring training games with a sore knee. ROCKIES: Infielder Neifi Perez agreed to return to the team on a minor-league contract.
United Way report: Nearly a third of Florida households are working poor struggling to meet basic needs