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Big-league baseball heading back to capital

Published Aug. 28, 2005

Major League Baseball plans to announce today that Washington will be the new home of the Montreal Expos, bringing the national pastime to the nation's capital for the first time in 33 years, the Associated Press reported.

Major League Baseball has notified Washington of the impending announcement, and the city is planning a news conference at a downtown location this afternoon, AP reported.

"I think we'll be in a position where we can have a celebration tomorrow," Mayor Anthony Williams told WUSA-TV.

The announcement will come one day before the 33rd anniversary of the Washington Senators' final game. The Senators moved to Texas after the 1971 season, the last time a team changed cities.

Baseball has been looking for a new home for the Expos since the financially troubled team was bought by the other 29 owners in 2002. According to AP, the bidding group was told that baseball has reached an understanding with Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who had objected to having a team relocate 40 miles from his franchise.

MINAYA TO JOIN METS: Two weeks after the Mets said they would dismiss manager Art Howe, they reached an agreement to hire Expos general manager Omar Minaya to head the baseball office, the New York Times reported. A news conference is planned for Thursday or Friday.

EL DUQUE AILING: A tired right shoulder was going to prevent Orlando Hernandez from making his scheduled start before the rainout. Now Hernandez, who had surgery on the shoulder in May 2003, is not expected to pitch until at least Thursday or Friday.

SUSPENSIONS: Major League Baseball suspended pitchers Pedro Astacio of the Red Sox and Brad Halsey of the Yankees three games each and fined them an undisclosed amount after they were ejected Sunday for throwing at batters. Major League Baseball also suspended Giants closer Dustin Hermanson for three games for intentionally throwing at and hitting the Astros' Jeff Kent in Thursday's game. MLB vice president Bob Watson said the right-hander also has been fined an undisclosed amount.

BONDS BALL SUIT: A court hearing is scheduled for today in San Francisco in the dispute over who is the rightful owner of the ball Barry Bonds hit for his 700th home run. Steve Williams is being sued by attorneys for Timothy Murphy, who said he pinned the ball under his leg during a scrum after the ball struck Murphy's chin.

BRAVES: Right-hander Jaret Wright left in the third inning against the Mets when he was struck above the right ankle on a liner hit by Wilson Delgado. X-rays were negative and the pitcher is day to day with a bruise.

TIGERS: Catcher Ivan Rodriguez left the game against the White Sox in the fourth with a tight right hamstring.

_ TIMES WIRES