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Tuesday, July 25, 2000

Rangers lose Rodriguez for season

ARLINGTON, Texas, July 25, 2000 (AP) - A lost season for the Texas Rangers has turned even more disheartening: All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez is out for the year with a broken right thumb.

The reigning AL MVP was injured Monday night when his hand hit Mo Vaughn's bat while making a throw against the Anaheim Angels.

"That's what happens when the team isn't going good," Rodriguez said. "What can I do? But I have a strong mind and I'll be ready for spring training."

The two-time AL West champion Rangers are 11 1/2 games behind division-leading Seattle. On June 2, center fielder Ruben Mateo - a rookie of the year candidate - broke his leg and was lost for the year.

Rodriguez, regarded by many as the best all-around catcher in the majors, began the day batting .347 with 27 home runs and 83 RBIs.

He was hurt in the first inning as Vaughn struck out swinging while Kevin Stocker was trying to steal second. Stocker was called out by home plate umpire Gerry Davis on batter's interference.

Rodriguez said Vaughn did nothing wrong, and added the Angels first baseman left a message in the Rangers clubhouse expressing his sorrow.

"I don't think it was on purpose," Rodriguez said. "Mo is a very clean player."

Vaughn expressed sadness.

"It's just unfortunate because he's such a great player," Vaughn said. "Something will be missed from the game these last two months."

Rodriguez, 28, played earlier this month in his ninth straight All-Star game. He has won eight consecutive Gold Glove awards, an AL record.

Rodriguez, the Rangers' career hits leader, will have surgery Tuesday afternoon at a Fort Worth hospital to repair the break at the base of his thumb.

Team director of medical services Dr. John Conway said Rodriguez will need 6-10 weeks for the fracture to heal. Rodriguez will be able to resume sports-related activities in 2-4 months.

Conway said there were no guarantees that Rodriguez would be able to fully recover.

"Anytime there's an injury like this, there's a possibility for a loss of performance," Conway said. "But we think he'll make a full recovery."

Earlier this year, the Rangers said Rodriguez would spend time in the offseason learning a new position, possibly second base, in hopes of reducing the rigors of catching.

The Rangers purchased the contract of catcher B.J. Waszgis from Triple-A Oklahoma. Rodriguez will be placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

"As soon as it happened, my thumb went numb. There was swelling and I knew it was broken and I'd be out for the season," he said.

Rec department holds volleyball, grid sign-up

PECOS, July 25, 2000 -- The Reeves County Community Sports and Recreation Department is currently enrolling children for fall volleyball and Pee Wee football leagues.

Boys and girls entering grades 3 through 6 are eligible to participate in the volleyball league, with a registration fee of $10 per player.

Deadline to sign-up is Friday, Sept. 1. For further information, call the RCCRD office at 447-9776.

The deadline for the Pee Wee football program is Aug. 18, with a draft of players set for the following day. The program is also open to those entering grades 3 through 6, and has a registration fee of $20 per player.

Pecos has had a flag football program for elementary school-ages players for many years, but has not had a program with regular helmets and pads in 20 years. The coaches and parents involved are hoping to have eight teams total in the 3-4 and 5-6 grade divisions when registration ends on Aug. 18.

Teams will be divided into two divisions, for Grades 3-4 and 5-6. Workouts will be held for three weeks following the player draft, with the first games scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 9 at the Pecos High School practice field.

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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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