Bo Jackson's first trial run of the spring turned into an awkward trot yesterday, when he was not ready -- or not able -- to get around the bases at a Chicago White Sox squad game in Sarasota, Fla.
Jackson, still slowed by the hip injury that sidelined him for all but the final month last season, singled hard up the middle in his third at-bat after looking at third strikes the first two times.
But, Jackson hobbled to first base, his left leg kicking out to the vTC side in an odd motion. And when Warren Newson followed with a grounder back to pitcher Wayne Edwards, Jackson jogged only a step or two before stopping.
"To be truthful, I think I may've been expecting a hair more," said team trainer Herm Schneider, who has directed Jackson's rehabilitation program for nearly a year.
Jackson, 29, dismissed the alarming appearance, and said the real tests would begin today, with the exhibition opener.
"When I got the hit and saw it was through, I really didn't run. I just coasted to first base," Jackson said. "I didn't go flat-out. I really didn't think about it."
If the White Sox keep Jackson beyond March 15, he would get a guaranteed salary of $910,000, plus $10,000 extra for every game he's available, up to 150 games. If they release Jackson before March 15, they owe him nothing.
Jackson joined the White Sox on Sept. 2 and hit .225 with three homers and 14 RBI in 71 at-bats.
The club appears not to be taking any chances. It has been in contract with Dave Parker's agent, and is keeping the veteran on hold in case it needs a designated hitter.
* RANGERS: Julio Franco, who led the American League in batting average at .341 last season, has patella bursitis in his right knee and will miss at least two weeks of spring training.
* INDIANS: Former Oriole Jim Traber, trying to make the roster as a first baseman and designated hitter, has gout. The disease, which causes swollen joints, developed in Traber's sprained ankle, manager Mike Hargrove said.
* BRAVES: Second baseman Jeff Treadway, who hit .320 last season in 106 games, is expected to undergo surgery on his right hand tomorrow and be out for at least three months.
* YANKEES: Catcher John Ramos, a top candidate for a backup role to Matt Nokes, is expected to miss four days. He received a cortisone injection for inflammation in his right elbow. Catching prospect Brad Ausmus is out indefinitely with mononucleosis.
* CUBS: Manager Jim Lefebvre said he's going to experiment with Shawon Dunston in the leadoff spot, and maybe even have Jerome Walton follow him in the No. 2 spot.
* METS: Shortstop Kevin Elster, who reported for workouts nearly three weeks ago, has been unable to throw on consecutive days and has limited the strain on his arm even on the days that he has thrown. He played last season on anti-inflammatory medication.
* George Giles, an All-Star first baseman in the old Negro Leagues, died Tuesday at 82 in Manhattan, Kan. Giles had a lifetime batting average of .309, and hit .372 in 1937 for the Black Yankees.
* Alan Roth, the first full-time statistician hired by a major league club, the Brooklyn Dodgers, died Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 74 and suffered a heart attack, his family said. Roth also was a statistician for NBC-TV and later ABC.