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Offerman lashes out over losing starting job

A day after the Red Sox privately settled on their 25-man roster _ and apparently left him off it _ Jose Offerman on Friday went off in front of reporters.

The Boston Globe reported the team was seeking to trade Offerman, which would clear the way for Rey Sanchez to replace him as the regular second baseman.

After Offerman went 0-for-3 in a 3-2, 10-inning loss to the Phillies on Friday, lowering his average to .211, he was asked if he had heard anything about his status.

"If you have any questions or want any answers, go talk to the manager," he said. "I don't know anything.

"I'm just here to play the game, so keep the (expletive) away from me," he said. "You treat me like a (expletive) player."

Though Offerman has hit three home runs and played error-free at second, he has done little else to distinguish himself.

And Sanchez has played well. With a single in his only plate appearance Friday, Sanchez has nine hits in his past nine at-bats.

Manager Grady Little would not discuss any roster decisions.

ANGELS: Jarrod Washburn will pitch opening day against Cleveland. Kevin Appier and Aaron Sele will pitch the second and third games, respectively. Scott Schoenweis will pitch the fourth game.

And Ramon Ortiz, who signed a multiyear contract Friday, will pitch the fifth game.

The deal will be either for four years or three with a club option, depending on when Ortiz becomes eligible for salary arbitration. The contract will be worth $11.7-million if he becomes arbitration eligible after this season, $7.25-million if he doesn't.

MARINERS: Bench coach John McLaren filled in for manager Lou Piniella again. McLaren said Piniella is expected to be back for today's game. Piniella left Monday to fly to Tampa after his father, Louis, 83, was hospitalized with pneumonia.

Also, Muhammad Ali was in the stands and visited the team's dugout before the game.

ORIOLES: First baseman Jeff Conine signed a two-year $9.25-million contract extension with an option for 2005. Conine, 35, was 10th in the American League last season with a .311 average. He also drove in a team-high 97 runs and hit 14 home runs.

RANGERS: Chan Ho Park, who was named the starter for opening day, pitched seven innings in the Rangers' 8-4 loss to Minnesota. He allowed four runs _ two earned _ and seven hits.

Also, Hideki Irabu, still in contention for the fifth spot in the starting rotation, pitched in a minor-league game. Working for Triple-A Oklahoma, Irabu allowed four hits and two runs in six innings.

In addition, catcher Ivan Rodriguez sat out with the flu.

ROYALS: Jeff Suppan, named the team's opening-day starter, allowed eight hits and four runs in six innings against Detroit.

TIGERS: Third baseman Dean Palmer visited a doctor about soreness in his neck and upper back that has bothered him for the past two weeks.

Also, relievers Matt Anderson and Danny Patterson made their first appearances since early March. Anderson, the team's closer, had not pitched since March 6 because of stiffness in his right shoulder. Patterson, the setup man, had not pitched since March 2 because of back spasms.

TWINS: Brad Radke will start on opening day for the sixth time. In an 8-4 victory over Texas, he allowed six hits and three runs while striking out eight.

WHITE SOX: Infielder Jose Valentin hit two home runs in a 15-8 loss to the Rockies. First baseman Frank Thomas also homered.

_ TIMES WIRES

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