Craig Biggio gave a tearful remembrance and Houston teammates Jeff Bagwell and Brad Ausmus also were in attendance yesterday at a memorial service for Ken Caminiti in Houston.
Astros owner Drayton McLane, General Manager Gerry Hunsicker and Manager Phil Garner were at the service at Second Baptist Church, as were San Diego Padres owner John Moores and GM Kevin Towers.
Caminiti died last Sunday in New York at 41. Tests are being conducted to determine the cause of death for the 1996 NL MVP.
Caminiti spent most of his 15-year career with the Astros and Padres. He made his major league debut with Houston in 1987.
"He took me under his wing when I got here," Bagwell said.
"Before I went to sleep last night, I was talking to my wife about our time together," the first baseman said. "I have nothing but great memories of Cammy -- nothing bad. If you say negative things about him, you obviously didn't know him."
Bagwell and Ausmus were late to the Astros' afternoon workout at Minute Maid Park and Biggio was absent.
The Astros plan to honor Caminiti before Game 3 of the NL Championship Series today. There will be a moment of silence and a video tribute, and a spotlight shining outside the ballpark shows his No. 11.
Kline Sees Hand Specialist
St. Louis Cardinals reliever Steve Kline went to Indianapolis to see a hand specialist yesterday instead of joining his teammates in Houston for Game 3 of the NLCS.
Manager Tony La Russa said the team was awaiting the results of the exam.
"It's one of those things," La Russa said after the team's workout. "You fear the worst, hope for the best."
Kline aggravated a torn tendon in the index finger of his throwing hand Thursday night in Game 2. La Russa said Kline's finger was sore and swollen after he allowed two straight singles in the sixth inning of the 6-4 victory over the Astros. . . .
Cardinals backup Roger Cedeno might get a chance to start in Game 3 of the NLCS, if La Russa follows form.
Roger Clemens will pitch for Houston, and Cedeno has fine career numbers against the Astros ace -- 10 for 23 (.435).
Clemens pitched against the Astros four times this season, and Cedeno started in left field in three of those games.
Reggie Sanders started in left field for the first two games of the NLCS. Cedeno is 0 for 2 so far, though his RBI groundout produced the go-ahead run in the opener.
Pesky Speaks Up
Job security is a wonderful thing. It allows Johnny Pesky, the 85-year-old former Boston Red Sox shortstop, third baseman and manager, to say what he thinks, even if his thoughts might not delight the people who own and operate the team. So Pesky held court as the rain came down outside the Red Sox' clubhouse and said, among other things:
"I like George Steinbrenner. I respect him because when he wants something, he gets it done. I also think he's a very handsome man and a good student."
"I hope that guy [Harry Frazee] didn't make any money on 'No No Nanette.' ''
(Red Sox owner Frazee, who also was a Broadway producer, sent Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 for $125,000 and a $300,000 loan, but that he did it to finance "No No Nanette" is apocryphal; the show wasn't produced until 1925.)
"I always get goose bumps when we play the Yankees. And I say a little prayer. I've been saying prayers for a long time. And they never get answered. I'm going to have a conversation with Him."
"You gotta have a little luck to win. The Red Sox never have any."
"I like this team. I like their attitude."
"They get along maybe better than any team we've had. They're hugging and kissing. I'm 85, and I like it."