Kansas City Royals outfielder Bo Jackson, limping and on crutches, left open the possibility that his hip injury will not heal by Opening Day.
"It's really hard to tell," Jackson said yesterday during his only planned spring-training news conference. "I have to stay off it as much as possible."
Jackson missed six weeks last season because of a shoulder injury, yet still led the team with 28 home runs. Now two months after suffering soft-tissue damage in his left hip in a National Football League playoff game, he's impatient to get back into the swing.
"This is probably the most frustrating injury I've ever had," Jackson said. "I can't even get out on the field to run. I can't swing a bat.
"I need help at the supermarket. Saberhagen was my caddie yesterday. The guys have been picking on me a lot. They throw sweaty T-shirts and socks at me, hitting me in the back of the head. They pick up my crutches and throw them down. I've wanted to throw them down since the first day I got them."
* ATHLETICS: General manager Sandy Alderson said he wasn't surprised when American League Most Valuable Player Rickey Henderson failed to appear yesterday on the mandatory spring-training reporting date.
"If Rickey is trying to make a statement I wouldn't have expected him on the first day that he can be fined," Alderson said. "The fact that he's not in camp only means that he can be fined."
Alderson said the club hadn't determined whether it would fine Henderson. The left fielder apparently is upset that the A's haven't been willing to renegotiate the four-year, $12 million contract he signed before the beginning of last season.
"It has been intimated to me that's the reason," Alderson said. "I haven't gotten a telegraph."
* REDS: Pitcher Jack Armstrong and catcher Joe Oliver continued their walkout for a second day,
"The fines will start tomorrow if they're not here," Reds general manager Bob Quinn said. "I'm not going to disclose the amount, but it is a fixed amount of fine.
The players are angry that the Reds renewed their contracts and say they'll stay away until the team resumes negotiations. Armstrong was renewed at $215,000 and Oliver at $185,000.
First baseman Hal Morris, renewed at $180,000, said he's watching closely.
"If they do renegotiate the contracts, they're opening a Pandora's box," Morris said. "I wish we could be insulated from this part of the game. I hate it. It has alienated everyone."
* RANGERS: Pitchers Kevin Brown and Kenny Rogers returned to spring training, a day after they walked out of camp in protest of their contracts.
"I feel like I've made my point, and I'm confident they understand my viewpoint and my reasoning behind feeling the way I do," Brown said. "Really, this is all I can do. I can't force them into doing anything else."
Brown's contract was renewed for $327,500; Rogers' was renewed for $287,500.
* YANKEES: New York began trade discussions last weekend centering on Pirates outfielders Barry Bonds and Bobby Bonilla, who finished Nos. 1 and 2 in the National League MVP voting, but Pittsburgh general manager Larry Doughty indicated the talks are far from serious.
Doughty said about six teams have inquired about the duo.
* EXPANSION: Rangers managing general partner George W. Bush, speaking at the quarterly owners meetings, said again that the AL is willing to block NLs planned 1993 expansion if it does not get part of the new franchise fees of $95 million a team.
Pittsburgh chairman Douglas D. Danforth continued to express the NL's position against sharing the $190 million in expansion money.
Bush said he is the most hard-line of the AL owners on expansion.
* ANGELS: Third baseman Jack Howell got five consecutive hits in two intrasquad games, then went behind the plate to catch in the club's experiment to convert him into a utility player.