Barajas accepts Sosa's apology after being spiked

ORIOLES NOTEBOOK

Notebook

Orioles

July 29, 2005|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

As far as Sammy Sosa and Rod Barajas are concerned, any lingering tension between the two was pretty much over shortly after the Texas Rangers' 11-8, 11-inning victory over the Orioles on Wednesday night.

Sosa called Barajas in the Rangers' clubhouse after the game to apologize about his slide in the 10th inning that punctured the left arm of the Rangers catcher.

Trying to score the winning run, Sosa slid with his left cleat up and got Barajas below the bicep. Though both benches began to clear, the situation didn't escalate.

"He said he's not that kind of player, and I know he's not," said Barajas. "I've been told by plenty of guys on the team that he's not a dirty player. He said he kind of got caught up in the moment, [and] he wasn't going in there planning to do it. It just happened. I believe him - no hard feelings.

"Once he apologized on the field, I pretty much knew he knew he'd made a mistake. ... I don't think any less of Sammy Sosa."

Sosa declined yesterday to talk about the incident, saying only, "I don't want to talk about that. Him and I talked about it and that's it."

The play overshadowed Sosa's historic 587th home run Wednesday night that moved him past Frank Robinson into sole possession of fifth place on baseball's all-time list.

"Mr. Frank Robinson, I have all the respect for him, no question about it," said Sosa. "He was a great player when he was playing, and I believe he's a pretty good manager, too. I think records are meant to be broken. I'm very blessed, very fortunate to play this game so long and do so many great things in this game."

Gibbons, Marrero get MRI's

Jay Gibbons and Eli Marrero both got magnetic resonance imaging tests back, but only Gibbons was happy with the results.

Once thought to have jammed his right thumb, Marrero has torn ligaments in the thumb and will be out for six to eight weeks. Gibbons has missed five of the past seven games because of recurring back spasms that started last Friday against Tampa Bay, but his MRI didn't reveal any significant problems.

"I just think I came back and did a little too much too quick and injured it worse," said Gibbons, who thinks he aggravated the back by taking "300 swings" on Monday. "It's significantly better than it was yesterday."

Gibbons is hoping to be back in the Orioles' lineup by the weekend, but that's certainly not the case with Marrero.

"It's going to be a while," Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli said. "When you have something that is strained or torn in your hand and you have to hit, it's going to be a while before he comes back."

With Marrero on the disabled list, the Orioles recalled David Newhan, who was batting .366 with one home run and eight RBIs in 11 games for Ottawa. It is Newhan's third stint this season with the Orioles. He started last night in left field.

"Hopefully, I can stay and I just pray I can get a chance to help us win this division," he said. "It seems like right now, it's really up for grabs. We've got two months to really bear down and make it happen."

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