Mark McGwire, the American League's starting All-Star first baseman, said last night that he will not be able to attend the game because of the effects of a burst eardrum.
American League manager Tony La Russa replaced McGwire on the team with Texas Rangers first baseman Rafael Palmeiro. Reserve Cecil Fielder of the Detroit Tigers probably will get the start at first for Tuesday night's All-Star Game at SkyDome in Toronto.
McGwire, elected by the fans to start over Fielder, is hitting .200 with 13 homers and 42 RBI for the Oakland Athletics. He has been selected to the All-Star team in each of his five major-league seasons. Palmeiro entered last night's game against Oakland hitting .318 with 12 homers and 39 RBI.
La Russa also considered Wally Joyner, but the California Angels first baseman has a leg injury.
* RANGERS: Julio Franco was scratched from the lineup yesterday and is scheduled to undergo a series of tests on his heart today because of recurring chest pains.
The Rangers second baseman (.318, 9 HRs, 40 RBI) experienced chest pains Friday afternoon, but was cleared by team physician Mike Mykoskie after an electrocardiogram showed no abnormalities. A team spokesman said Franco's participation in the All-Star Game is in doubt.
* ASTROS: Mike Scott may not pitch again this season, and he hinted that his career might be over.
Scott's sore right shoulder, which sidelined him April 14, has not improved, the team said.
"If I want to pitch again, I'll have to have a major operation, and it's doubtful that I will have the operation," said Scott, a 36-year-old former Cy Young Award winner.