SURGERY FOR DAVIS:

Reds OF Eric Davis says he expects to have arthroscopic surgery on his ailing right knee after the season. Davis, 28, took a cortisone shot in the knee Monday after consulting with team physician Michael Lawhon and trainer Larry Starr.

CALL IT A LOAN:

The Quebec government has approved in principle a loan of up to $25.8 million to help a group of companies buy the Expos for $86 million from Charles Bronfman.

The provincial cabinet this week placed tourism minister Andre Vallerand in charge of forming a committee to work out details of the loan, which likely would be split evenly with Montreal's municipal government.

"We will inform the new investors and the current owner that the government is ready to examine the details of a temporary loan if the private sector falls short in providing the entire sum needed to buy the Expos," Vallerand said.

MANAGER WITHOUT A TEAM:

A National League expansion franchise is still just a dream in Orlando, but the team's manager became a reality: C Bob Boone will run the team if Orlando Pro Baseball Inc. is awarded one.

The group also named former major league IF Denny Doyle as director of baseball operations and his brother Brian as director of development.

Boone, 43, holds the career record for games caught. He plans to play one more year.

Two expansion teams will join the NL in 1993. Among the 18 groups competing for a franchise, only Orlando has completed most of its front office. "We appear to be more organized," said Pat Williams, president and general manager. "I hope the National League looks on that as a positive sign."

FORCE AT ANY BASE:

Tampa police accused of rousting Brewers IF Gary Sheffield from his car at gunpoint have been cleared of using excessive force and profanity, officials said.

The incident involving three officers from a since-disbanded special drug task force occurred in March outside a West Tampa bar. The officers said they mistook a gold-trimmed Mercedes-Benz that Sheffield was in for one owned by a fugitive drug dealer thought to be armed.

TRADED:

The Dodgers acquired LHP Dennis Cook from the Phillies for C Darrin Fletcher.