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Games leader Orosco won't try a 25th season

Jesse Orosco had enough.

After a record-setting career, the left-hander told the Diamondbacks on Wednesday he had decided to retire after 24 major-league seasons.

"To take it a quarter-century, I never imagined that," Orosco said. "It's a sad day that I have to call it quits. But it's a great day, too, for the fact I fulfilled my dream."

Orosco, who turns 47 on April 21, was the oldest player in the major leagues last season. He began his career with the Mets in 1979 and set records with 1,252 games pitched and 1,248 relief appearances.

He went 87-80 with 144 saves and an ERA of 3.16 with nine teams.

JAPAN SAVES KING TO CHISOX: Right-hander Shingo Takatsu, Japan's career saves leader, has agreed to a $1-million, one-year contract with the White Sox, the Associated Press reported.

The deal, which includes a team option for 2005, is expected to be announced Friday.

PADRES TEST PARK: San Diego held its first workout at $458-million Petco Park and began to experience its nuances.

Slugger Phil Nevin hit the first batting practice pitch into left-centerfield, then a few minutes later launched a ball off the fourth floor facade of the Western Metal Supply Co. building, a 95-year-old brick warehouse that helps form the leftfield corner.

"It's a special place, there's no question about that," Nevin said.

DODGERS SALE: The team's proposed sale could be put to a vote for approval next week after Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt met with baseball officials for the second straight day.

McCourt reached an agreement in October to buy the team for News Corp., a deal valued at $430-million. The agreement calls for the sale to close by Jan. 31.

Concerned about the amount of financing in the deal, baseball and McCourt have been discussing arrangements that would allow him to retire some debt by selling minority shares.

UMP REPLACED: Charlie Reliford was selected to become an umpire crew chief, filling the opening created when St. Petersburg native Steve Rippley retired last month.

CUBS: Right-hander Ryan Dempster agreed to a one-year contract with a team option for 2005. Dempster, who had ligament replacement surgery on his elbow Aug. 4, hopes to be throwing off a mound in spring training.

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