Body of former Rays pitcher Geremi Gonzalez to be exhumed in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela — Vene­zuelan authorities will exhume the body of former pitcher Geremi Gonzalez to determine if he was killed last year by lightning, as an autopsy found, or was the victim of a robbery, a newspaper reported Friday.

Officials plan to dig Oct. 29 at his family's request, according to Diario Panorama. The police was not available to comment, and calls to Gonzalez's mother were not returned.

Gonzalez pitched for five teams, including the Rays (2003-04), from 1997-2006, going 30-35 in 131 games (83 starts).

Authorities initially determined Gonzalez, 33, died instantly when he was hit by lightning at a beach in May 2008. Doubts surfaced after a friend notified the family some of his belongings were being sold, including a gold chain he was wearing when he died.

Astros: Manny Acta, fired by the Nationals this year, said he has been contacted about the managerial job. GM Ed Wade said only he will announce each candidate 24 hours before their interviews.

Tigers: 1B coach Andy Van Slyke will not return. The team said he "decided to pursue other opportunities." He was part of manager Jim Leyland's staff for four seasons and played for Leyland for eight seasons in Pittsburgh.

Body of former Rays pitcher Geremi Gonzalez to be exhumed in Venezuela 10/10/09 [Last modified: Saturday, October 10, 2009 7:18am]

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