AL Notebook

Rangers' Owner Suspects Gonzalez

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Rangers owner Tom Hicks suspects that two-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez may have used steroids.

"I have no knowledge that Juan used steroids. His number of injuries and early retirement just makes me suspicious," Hicks wrote in an e-mail to the Associated Press yesterday. "In any event, we paid him $24 million for very few games."

Hicks was responding to questions about a television interview in which he was asked about the decisions he regretted since owning the team, then mentioned the oft-injured outfielder and steroids.

"Juan Gonzalez for $24 million after he came off steroids, probably, we just gave that money away," Hicks said in the interview, aired June 10 on KTVT-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Gonzalez had three extended stays on the disabled list when he returned to the Rangers for the 2002 and 2003 seasons. He played in only 152 of 324 games, hitting .288 with 32 homers and 105 RBI.

"That kind of rhetoric does not deserve a response, because it's so irresponsible," said Gonzalez's agent, Al Nero.

· FIRST FOR DAMON: Yankees DH-CF Johnny Damon might be headed to the disabled list for the first time in his career. He has been bothered since last week by a strained abdominal muscle, which he aggravated Tuesday while taking cuts in the batting cage at Coors Field.

"Especially with this last incident yesterday, it's something that we have to consider," Manager Joe Torre said after speaking with General Manager Brian Cashman. "I just said let's see how he feels these next couple of days and we'll have to make a decision."

Damon took batting practice before the Yankees' game against the Rockies last night, but Melky Cabrera started in center field.

· MORE TIME TO BLOG: Red Sox RHP Curt Schilling was scratched from his scheduled start on Sunday because of soreness in his right shoulder that he attributed to tendinitis. RHP Josh Beckett will start against the Padres on normal rest.

Schilling left the team in Atlanta on Tuesday to return to Boston for a cortisone shot and an MRI exam. Results were negative, but Schilling was to remain in Boston for treatment. He will be reexamined by team physician Thomas Gill tomorrow.

-- From News Services

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