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Clemens in camp, deflects questions

JOSEPH GARNETT JR.   |   Times
Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer signs autographs for fans before an exhibition game against FSU was rained out.

JOSEPH GARNETT JR. | Times Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer signs autographs for fans before an exhibition game against FSU was rained out.

KISSIMMEE — Roger Clemens arrived in the Astros' minor-league camp Tuesday and walked straight to a fenced-in bullpen to greet his oldest son, Koby, a catcher in the Astros system.

He snapped at a photographer who started clicking pictures. "This isn't a zoo!" Clemens barked.

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was calmer a few minutes later but declined to answer questions about the Mitchell report or a possible criminal investigation into his denials of steroid use.

"Everything's been said that needs to be said on that," Clemens said. "We're moving forward. It's baseball time."

Clemens thinks the public is tired of hearing about performance-enhancing drugs in the sport. He sure is.

"I think you ought to be asking baseball questions," he said. "I think it's time to move on and get on with baseball."

Clemens will pitch batting practice today through Friday to minor-leaguers. He arrived one day after the New York Times reported a House committee had drafted a letter asking the Justice Department to look into whether Clemens committed perjury. Clemens repeatedly has denied that he used steroids or performance-enhancing drugs, allegations brought by former personal trainer Brian McNamee.

The committee has not made a decision whether to send a letter to Justice.

VIZQUEL HURT: Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel is scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on his left knee today and is expected to miss four to six weeks.

The 11-time Gold Glove shortstop, who turns 41 in April, tested his knee but said the pain was too much to handle.

"My knee was feeling good," Vizquel said. "I wanted to give it a hard shot in order to make a decision. It didn't work. I felt a little pop when I was running. That's what I wanted to see, to see if I could sustain the pain, and I couldn't."

COLON JOINS BOSOX: Bartolo Colon covered his ample torso with a Red Sox T-shirt, took the field and played catch with his new pitching coach, his first serious work in nearly three weeks. His workout partner said the right-hander's primary need was to get back into playing shape.

"There are no limitations from a physical standpoint," pitching coach John Farrell said. "It's just a matter of getting him back into playing shape and building up his arm strength to the point of facing hitters."

BLUE JAYS: First baseman Lyle Overbay expects to know soon whether his fractured right hand has fully healed. Overbay's hand was broken in June when he was hit by a pitch. "I think these next 2-3 weeks will tell," Overbay said.

CARDINALS: Manager Tony La Russa said his pitchers would bat eighth in spring games in which the DH is not used. He plans to continue the practice once the regular season starts.

CUBS: Mark DeRosa visited a Chicago cardiologist to check on an irregular heartbeat, and manager Lou Piniella said he expects the infielder back in camp next week.

PHILLIES: Manager Charlie Manuel said Brett Myers will start on opening day, opting for the right-hander over rising star Cole Hamels. Myers also opened last season but moved to the bullpen in mid April when injuries began to decimate the relief corps. Also, the team's scheduled exhibition game against Florida State at Bright House Networks Field was rained out.

RANGERS: Right-hander Brandon McCarthy will not start the team's spring opener today because of elbow soreness. Manager Ron Washington said the injury was minor and McCarthy was being held back as a precaution.

REDS: Shortstop Alex Gonzalez is expected to miss the first few spring games with a sore knee. He sat out an intrasquad scrimmage with a bone bruise in his left knee, which also bothered him at the end of last season.

ROCKIES: Shortstop Neifi Perez agreed to return to the team on a minor-league contract, a goodwill gesture for one of the more popular players in club history.

.AREA TEAMS

Blue Jays: Workouts at Bobby Mattick Complex (1700 Solon Ave., Dunedin). Game tickets: (727) 733-9302; Knology Park (373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; or bluejays.com.

Phillies: Workouts at Carpenter Complex (651 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater) or Bright House Networks Field (601 N Old Coachman Road). Game tickets: (727) 467-4457; Bright House Networks Field 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday; or phillies.com.

Yankees: Workouts at Legends Field (1 Steinbrenner Drive in Tampa). Game tickets: (813) 879-2244; Legends Field 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; or ticketmaster.com.

Clemens in camp, deflects questions 02/26/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:59am]
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