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Alejo can't supervise Giambi workouts

TAMPA, Fla. -- Pounds aren't the only thing Jason Giambi has
lost.

The New York Yankees won't rehire his personal trainer, meaning
Bobby Alejo cannot travel on team charters this season and can't
supervise Giambi's pregame and postgame workouts in ballparks.

Following commissioner Bud Selig's decision last month to
enforce rules restricting clubhouse access, Giambi expressed hope
that an arrangement could be worked out.

"I think Jason is hopeful there is some avenue to work
through," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday.
"I just don't sense where there is one right now."

Giambi, who credits eliminating junk food for his noticeably
slimmer physique this spring, had finished practice and left the
clubhouse while Cashman spoke with reporters.

"I am talking to Brian Cashman, and I'm going to continue to
talk to him," said Giambi's agent, Arn Tellem.

Tellem wouldn't detail his discussions with the general manager.
In the past, Giambi has credited Alejo for his preparation. Alejo
was the strength and conditioning coach of the Oakland Athletics
and followed Giambi to New York for the 2002 season.

That first year, the Yankees listed him as a batting practice
pitcher. Last season, he was off the team payroll but still had
access to the charters and ballpark weight rooms. While he was
banned from the clubhouse early in the season, he was granted
access by the end.

Cashman said rehiring Alejo was not an option.

"The problem is if I do something like that, then I'm going to
get a lot more requests to hire people, and I don't want to be in
that position, either," Cashman said.

Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations
in the commissioner's office, said any hirings would be looked at
on a case-by-base basis to determine if they were attempts to
circumvent Selig's directive, issued in the wake of an indictment
charging Barry Bonds' personal trainer, Greg Anderson, with
illegally distributing steroids.

Anderson has pleaded not guilty. Bonds and Giambi testified before
the grand jury, as did Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield, and all
three denied using steroids.

Bonds had hoped his other trainer, Harvey Shields, would still
have clubhouse access, but San Francisco Giants owner Peter Magowan
said last weekend that his team would not allow any personal
trainers into team facilities.

Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa wants his personal assistant to
stay around his team. Julian Martinez was hired by the Cubs star in
2001 to help Sosa do chores and often plays catch with him.

"You are talking about two different scenarios here," Sosa
said. "He's not a personal trainer. He's pretty much similar to a
coach. I don't think it has to be a big issue."

Cubs officials are confident they can work out an agreement to
everyone's satisfaction, perhaps allowing Martinez to pitch batting
practice, get out of uniform and then man a radar gun in the stands
during games. Martinez currently has his own uniform and has access
to the dugout during games.

Notes
Yankees manager Joe Torre and general partner Stephen
Swindal have started talks about a two-year contract extension, and
the sides could complete a deal before Opening Day. Torre's current
deal expires after this season and following praise from owner
George Steinbrenner, Torre has been more open in the past month to
managing beyond 2004. ... 3B Alex Rodriguez and SS Derek Jeter will
not make the trip to Clearwater for Thursday's spring training
opener. ... CF Bernie Williams hopes to recover from last week's
appendectomy in time for opening day, but Cashman isn't sure
whether Williams will be game ready. ... The Yankees added Sunday's
game against the Red Sox in Fort Myers to their television
schedule.