D'backs starting over

L. Gonzalez to move

Bonds' trainer asks court for release


September 15, 2006

The Arizona Diamondbacks yesterday told left fielder Luis Gonzalez they will not bring him back next season.

"Obviously, this is a very difficult day for the organization," general manager Josh Byrnes said during a news conference. "Gonzo's done about everything you can in this market as a player and as a person."

Byrnes, managing partner Jeff Moorad and assistant general manager Peter Woodfork informed Gonzalez and his representatives of the club's decision during a breakfast meeting. Moorad used to be Gonzalez's agent, and he negotiated the player's current contract.

Byrnes said Eric Byrnes, who has played center field this year, would become the team's everyday left fielder next season. Chris Young, who was recently promoted from Triple-A Tucson, will take over in center. Another rookie, Carlos Quentin, is penciled in for right field.

The club had not been expected to exercise its $10 million option on Gonzalez for 2007. But Gonzalez had said he would be open to discussing a new deal that would allow him to return for a ninth season in Arizona.

"I want to stay here," Gonzalez said this week. "There's no secret about that. I don't have any control over it."

Bonds -- Barry Bonds' personal trainer has asked a federal appeals court to free him from prison, where he was sent for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the Giants slugger. Greg Anderson, who has appeared five times before two federal grand juries without answering pertinent questions, filed court papers late Wednesday through his attorney, Mark Geragos. The papers allege many of the same points Anderson has argued unsuccessfully to a trial court since July when a judge first ordered him jailed. Anderson has been held since Aug. 28 at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, Calif. The trainer already has served three months in prison and three months of home detention after pleading guilty to steroid distribution and money laundering stemming from the government's investigation of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), which allegedly supplied Bonds and other elite athletes with performance-enhancing drugs. Numerous grand jury leaks have left Anderson mistrustful that his testimony will be kept confidential, Geragos said. Testifying also would violate a deal Anderson struck last December in the BALCO case, in which Anderson specifically stated he wouldn't cooperate with the government. Judge William Alsup rejected those arguments, as well as a claim that Anderson was a target of an illegal wiretap.

Twins -- Francisco Liriano and the team are somewhat relieved, yet mostly mystified over the rookie left-hander's latest test results. "The MRI came back exactly the same as the previous one," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "He has a ligament strain, but there is no structural damage. That's the good news. Now we have to find out why he's having pain. We're not going to mess around with his future." Ryan said the Twins will take an ultra-conservative approach with Liriano, who made only 28 pitches Wednesday against Oakland in his first start in more than a month -- then walked off the mound, saying he heard a pop in his elbow. Liriano, 12-3 with a 2.19 ERA, is done for the season, even if the Twins make the playoffs.

Rangers -- Manager Buck Showalter's job appears safe despite another disappointing season that will almost certainly end without a playoff berth. Before the Rangers began their final homestand of the season last night, owner Tom Hicks and general manager Jon Daniels both indicated there wouldn't be a managerial change. "There are no plans along that line right now," Daniels said.

Braves -- Atlanta put third baseman Chipper Jones on the 15-day disabled list so its insurance company will pay a portion of his $13.6 million salary.

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