Biggio's playing time could be cut back in second half

Updated: July 14, 2007, 4:28 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Craig Biggio's playing time could be reduced during the second half of the season, especially on the road, as the Houston Astros give Chris Burke a longer look at second base.

Biggio, who got his 3,000th hit on June 28, is OK with the arrangement, manager Phil Garner said Saturday, adding that the plan could change should Biggio go on a hitting tear. Burke started Saturday at second base and batted leadoff against the Chicago Cubs.

"It's difficult to have the conversation," Garner said, referring to Biggio, his 41-year-old second baseman who is one of the most popular players in Astros history. "And that's why it's subject to change."

Two years removed from a World Series appearance, the Astros began play Saturday with a 39-51 record. Biggio, who has not revealed his plans for after this season, was batting .256 in 81 games. Burke was hitting .235 in 51 games.

"Gar and I are trying to figure out what is going to be best for everybody, what's going on," Biggio said before Saturday's game. "We are going to play in all the games at home, that's a given. And we'll readjust on the road."

Biggio acknowledged he also has fans on the road who want to see him play.

"It's kind of like we're re-evaluating as we go," he added.

Biggio stressed that he and Garner have a strong relationship and it is intact.

"I've known Gar for a long time. I told him when he first took the job, no matter what happened between player and manager, it'll never jeopardize our friendship," Biggio said. "This year he's been very open and fair. He has been to me and I think I have been back as far as being honest as how you feel."

Biggio had five hits on the night he got his 3,000th against Colorado. He entered Saturday with 3,013 hits and was sixth on the career list with 661 doubles. He also owns the modern record in one painful category -- he has been hit by pitches 285 times.

"We're still trying to win this season. Part of that is to see if Burke can be a part of that," Garner said. "If Craig is the hotter player, we'll revisit it."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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