FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 24 -- For several moments, Baltimore Orioles outfielder Sammy Sosa once again wore the colors of the Chicago Cubs.
Sosa's glove was stolen from the dugout during batting practice prior to the Orioles' 5-5 tie with the Boston Red Sox on Thursday, forcing Sosa to use his blue Cubs glove.
_____From The Post_____
Sidney Ponson injured his hand in an off-field incident.
Notebook: Sammy Sosa's glove is stolen.
Orioles to Watch: Sammy Sosa, pictured, is a new face in Baltimore, and he's one of several key players this season.
Graphic: Projected Starters
Graphic: Fort Lauderdale Stadium
"I'll call the company to send me a couple more," Sosa said. "This is not a big deal."
Police officers do not arrive at the stadium until 11 a.m., so it's likely Sosa's glove was stolen between 10 and 11 a.m. The Orioles said police officers will arrive earlier. A report was filed with the police, who have no suspects.
James Baldwin, who was in competition for the fifth spot in the rotation, was optioned to the team's minor league camp in Sarasota, Fla.
He likely will begin the season in Class AAA Ottawa's rotation.
"I'm very disappointed," Baldwin said. "But I need to pitch some innings."
In 11 innings this spring, Baldwin was 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA. He said he expects to be called up at some point this season.
"Put it this way, when I leave this clubhouse, I know I can sleep comfortably," Baldwin said of his performance this spring. "I feel much better than I did last year." . . .
Larry Bigbie remained out of the lineup on Thursday with a strained neck. He expects to make the trip to Viera, Fla., for Friday's game against the Washington Nationals, but likely won't play. "It's better, but it's just stiff," Bigbie said. "I'm just trying to get treatment on it every day."
Bigbie said he thinks he injured his neck while sleeping.
"It's one of those freak things you can't do anything about," Bigbie said. "It's just kind of nagging, something you don't expect to last more than a couple of days." . . .
Steve Reed pitched on Thursday for the first time since March 16. He allowed four runs, one earned. Reed had been bothered by a mild strain in his right shoulder. "I just had a little kink in it," Reed said. "It's no big deal."