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Diagnosis of lupus ends Raines' season

Athletics outfielder Tim Raines, one of baseball's top base stealers and leadoff batters over a 20-year career, is suffering from lupus and will miss the rest of the season.

Raines, 39, who has been on the disabled list since July 19 with swelling in his kidneys, discussed his condition with his doctor at his side during an informal clubhouse news conference Friday.

Dr. Elliott Schwartz described lupus as a connective tissue disease in which the immune system turns against a person's own body.

"You might think of it as the body almost becoming allergic to its own tissues," Schwartz said. "In Tim's case, his body became almost allergic to his own kidneys, starting an inflammation process in those kidneys. We've given him medications to suppress that inflammation."

Raines, a member of the World Series champion Yankees last season, began the news conference with a declaration that he had no intention of quitting baseball. Schwartz said if the disease remains in remission, he could be ready for spring training.

There is no known cure, but lupus symptoms can be treated.

"When you're sick and you're a ballplayer, you always feel a pill is going to make you better," Raines said. "But I think any time you get into a situation where it's maybe a life or death thing, you tend to think about it and wonder what you're going through.

"As baseball players, we kind of live a sheltered life, good, bad or ugly. I mean, you're on the top of the world. You feel like nothing can ever get to you. I think what I've gone through over the last three weeks, it's been pretty humbling, because I haven't been able to do the things I love to do, and that's play baseball."

ANGELS: Anaheim purchased the contract of INF Trent Durrington from Double-A Erie and optioned INF Andy Sheets to Triple-A Edmonton. In addition, the Angels released C Charlie O'Brien, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week. Durrington, 23, hit .288 with three homers, 35 RBI and 59 stolen bases for Erie. O'Brien, 38, hit .097 with one homer and four RBI in 27 games.

ASTROS: INF Ricky Gutierrez was scheduled to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A New Orleans. Gutierrez has been on the disabled list since July 10 after surgery to repair the hamate bone in his left hand. RHP Sean Bergman (elbow tendinitis) was activated from the DL. RHP Jose Cabrera was sent to New Orleans.

BLUE JAYS: OF Curtis Goodwin, placed on waivers by the Cubs, was claimed by Toronto.

CARDINALS: Jose Jimenez has allowed 13 earned runs over 12 innings in his past three starts.

CUBS: Utility man Chad Meyers was called up from Triple-A Iowa and LHP Ray King sent down to make roster space.

ROCKIES: Memories of World Series glory already were flooding back to Jim Leyland when he noticed the surprise that had been left in the visiting manager's office: the wooden rocking chair that graced the home clubhouse when Leyland managed the Marlins. "That was the first thing I saw," said Leyland, a hint of a smile showing from underneath his gray mustache. It was Leyland's first visit to south Florida since he left after last season. Leyland led the team to the 1997 World Series title, then stayed on through a dismantling of the team in 1998. "This is where I had the greatest moment of my career," he said. "I have no bad memories here."

_ TIMES WIRES

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