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AROUND THE CACTUS LEAGUE

Sunday, March 13, 2005; Page E08

Barry Bonds backed off from rehabilitation on his surgically repaired right knee yesterday, skipping batting practice for the first time in six days and doing no work on the field. The Giants slugger scheduled a light weekend of work so he could spend time with visiting family members.

The seven-time NL MVP said he has no timetable for when he'll appear in his first exhibition game, though he still plans to be ready for Opening Day against the Dodgers. . . .

All Set

Rangers ace Kenny Rogers faced 14 minor leaguers in an intrasquad game, striking out six.

Fab Abs

"It felt good because I felt like some of my gut went away. I'm trying to get rid of this thing. Sitting around, I kind of got fat here."

-- Giants slugger Barry Bonds, on the importance of sprinting along the warning track during spring training.

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Miguel Olivo will be the Mariners' primary catcher, supplanting Dan Wilson after 11 seasons. New manager Mike Hargrove anticipates the 26-year-old Olivo will catch at least 110 games this season. "He's a strong guy," Hargrove said. "He should be able to do that." . . .

Brewers outfielder Carlos Lee was hit on the left hand by a pitch in the first inning against the Rockies and left the game immediately. He was replaced in left field by Nelson Cruz.

Lee hit a career-high .305 for the White Sox last year and matched his career best with 31 homers while driving in 99 runs. . . .

Rangers closer Francisco Cordero (sore shoulder), who recorded 49 saves last season, is ready to face hitters for the first time this spring. He'll throw a simulated game tomorrow.

-- From News Services


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