Trade could not be worked out

Updated: July 23, 2004, 10:25 PM ET
Associated Press

Seattle Mariners:Former AL batting champion John Olerud was released Friday by the last-place Mariners.

Olerud was hitting .245 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 77 games when he was designated for assignment last week. He was in the final year of his contract, earning $7.7 million this season.

The 35-year-old Olerud hit an AL-leading .363 with Toronto in 1993, when the Blue Jays won their second straight World Series title. He has a career average of .295.

The Mariners tried to trade Olerud but couldn't work out a deal. The Mariners were able to deal shortstop Rich Aurilia to San Diego this week after designating him for assignment.

Out of contention in the AL West, Seattle wants to look at some of its minor league prospects, such as first baseman-designated hitter Bucky Jacobsen.

"We investigated a lot of different potential opportunities for John, but we were not able to find a good match within the 10 days we had to trade him," general manager Bill Bavasi said in a statement.

Olerud, a two-time All-Star and a three-time Gold Glove winner, said last week that he wanted to continue playing. He is now free to sign with any club.

"We wish John and his family only the best and thank him for everything he did for the Mariners organization," Bavasi said.

Toronto Blue Jays: Blue Jays radio announcer Tom Cheek was back in the broadcast booth Friday night for Toronto's game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays -- calling his first game since undergoing surgery last month to remove a brain tumor.

Cheek announced the fifth and sixth innings of the game.

"The rookie is back on the job and it's nice to talk to you all out there," Cheek said.

Cheek, 65, called every game in franchise history before missing one in early June because of his father's death -- ending his streak at 27½ seasons. He called 4,306 consecutive regular-season games, plus 41 more in the postseason, since the Blue Jays began playing in 1977.

Just over a week later, he found out he had a brain tumor. Cheek hasn't called a game since June 10, undergoing radiation and oral chemotherapy.

New York Mets: Mets outfielder Shane Spencer is on the disabled list for doing something "stupid."

Spencer was wearing sandals when he stepped on some glass on a bar room floor, causing a cut on his right heel that required five stitches. The incident occurred on Thursday night after New York lost to the Montreal Expos, 4-1.

"It's frusrating," Spencer said. "You do not want to go on the disabled list for something stupid. It does not hurt or nothing. It is just a big gash."

The Mets placed Spencer on the 15-day disabled list Friday.

Spencer has a .281 average with four home runs and 26 RBI in 74 games with the Mets this season.

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles placed center fielder Luis Matos on the 15-day disabled list and brought up pitcher John Maine, who started against the Minnesota Twins in his major league debut.

Matos bruised his right shin Wednesday when he slammed into the wall at Fenway Park while making a sensational catch in the Orioles' 10-5 win over Boston. He missed time during spring training with a stress fracture in the same shin.

"The thing is, that area is so sensitive," Matos said Friday, "and I hit the wall in the same spot."

Matos is hitting .224 with six homers and 28 RBIs in 89 games. He will be replaced in center field by Karim Garcia, who was obtained in a trade with the New York Mets on Monday.

"As a baseball player, you want to be helping your team by being on the field," Matos said. "But they need a spot and I'm banged up right now, so they put me on the DL."

Texas Rangers: Outfielder Brian Jordan was activated by the Rangers after missing 46 games because of inflammation in his left knee.

Right-hander Ricardo Rodriguez was put on the 15-day disabled list, backup catcher Danny Ardoin and outfielder Chad Allen were designated for assignment, right-hander Rosman Garcia was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma and catcher Gerald Laird was activated from the 60-day disabled list.

Jordan, hitting just .103 with no homers and three RBIs, has been out since May 25. He also missed a month earlier in the season with a sprained left knee.

Manager Buck Showalter put Jordan in the lineup Friday night against Oakland.

"If you're going to take a guy and activate him, he's ready to play," Showalter said.

Cleveland Indians: Indians left-hander Jason Stanford likely will have "Tommy John" surgery on his elbow next week and may miss the 2005 season.

Stanford made the Indians' starting rotation in spring training but has been sidelined since April. He went 0-1 in two starts before going on the disabled list.

Stanford was supposed to make a minor league rehab appearance today, but had it scrapped when he experienced pain after throwing a simulated game earlier this week.

Stanford is to see Doctor James Andrews on Wednesday. If Andrews recommends surgery, the operation would take place the following day.

Stanford will be the third young Indians pitcher to undergo ligament replacement surgery in eleven months, following left-handers Billy Traber and Brian Tallet.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press