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AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT LEAGUE

Saturday, March 19, 2005; Page D07

Roberto Alomar went home after playing only one inning last night and the Devil Rays said they would have an announcement concerning his future today, leading to speculation that the 12-time all-star was planning to retire.

Alomar, 37, made two errors at second base and struck out looking in his only at-bat during a 5-4 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays, his first game since March 10 because of a back sprain. Tampa Bay Manager LouPiniella said Alomar told him he was having trouble seeing.

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Quotable

"If they throw that lineup against us in the season, we welcome it."

-- Marlins Manager Jack McKeon, after the Cardinals rested several sluggers, including Albert Pujols, Jim Edmonds and LarryWalker in Florida's 4-0, split-squad exhibition victory over St. Louis.

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"Robbie and I talked during the ballgame," Devil Rays General Manager Chuck LaMar said. Alomar's health "has been a real concern this year, and I am sure we will have a statement and Robbie will [inform the team] about his future with us." . . .

Roger Clemens strained his right hamstring last night and left Houston's game against the Detroit Tigers after just 1 1/3 innings.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner is day-to-day. He said his hamstring felt tight the past two days.

"Other than that, I feel pretty good," Clemens said. "I hoped that it would have gone away. You need to know the difference between being hurt and something just hurting, so we'll treat it and it will get better. I don't believe it is hurt." . . .

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Reggie Sanders was recovering after an appendectomy, and the Cardinals don't know when he'll return to the lineup.

-- From News Services


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