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December 06, 2001

Injuries bug teams this spring
By Rob Dibble

My first weekend in Florida, I went to nearly every Disney park down here. My family is with me and the kids are having a great time. Some of the attractions are scaring the heck out of my kids. Those are my favorites.

When I am not being hurled around by various amusement rides, I am working extremely diligently down here in Florida.

I went to Tigers' camp and talked to Bobby Higginson, Phil Garner and Todd Jones. I also had a nice little altercation with Bill Madlock. He expressed his opinion regarding comments I made about the Tigers' brawl with the White Sox last year. Case closed over any controversy with me and the Tigers. That was last year anyway.

That night we went to Pleasure Island and had a nice dinner at the Fulton Crab House. Tremendous.

On Tuesday we went to Baseball City to interview some Royals. But the Yankees came over so I visited with Bernie Williams, Scott Brosius and Mariano Rivera. Well, who would you have talked to? Let me tell you: those guys are ready to defend their crown. Brosius was also telling me that they are sick and tired of the attention given to Chuck Knoblauch and his throwing problem. He essentially feels that if they keep winning championships, there is nothing to talk about. Hard to argue with that.

The Yankees still have a great team. They are looking to have some fun this year but it won't be as much fun for the rest of the league.

Manny Ramirez
First Nomar now Manny. The Red Sox are one of many teams coping with injuries to stars this spring.

One thing that has struck me about Spring Training this year is all of the injuries.

The Red Sox have been whacked early. Nomar Garciaparra's wrist is a big concern and then Manny Ramirez feels a twinge in his left hamstring and has to sit. Then you have David Cone and Bret Saberhagen feeling sore after a bit a work. I wish them all the luck in the world but you have to wonder just what they have left to contribute.

El Duque has some soreness in the forearm of his throwing arm.

Mo Vaughn is out for the year. Juan Gonzalez has knee injury that bears watching. Javy Lopez just broke a finger. He's out three to four weeks and that will hurt the Braves a lot because Eddie Perez is not due back until May. If Paul Bako is handling the Braves staff, that could be a big deal with all of their early division games.

Jose Vidro is getting an MRI and Barry Larkin is hurting.

These injuries are really piling up. Bobby Cox was telling me that he recently had to put Kurt Abbott, an infielder, out in right field because of Brian Jordan's arm problems. Right now Ruben Rivera, just dropped by the Padres, wouldn't be a bad pickup for the Braves.

Wednesday night we went down to see Alex Rodriguez's first appearance against the Yankees in a Texas uniform. He was booed loudly every at bat by the Yankee fans because of his remarks about Derek Jeter in the current issue of Esquire. He went 2-for-3. You can bet he'll hear it again in the regular season when the Rangers come to New York.

Back to the other scouting report: We have been to the Magic Kingdom twice and the fireworks are dazzling. It's just a great place (the happiest on earth, so they say). Animal Kingdom and Disney Quest were tremendous too.

At Disney's MGM I went on the Tower of Terror. Everybody should take that ride. It made me want to puke. Just fantastic. I also went on the Aerosmith roller coaster. It was easily the fastest roller coaster I have ever been on and has an amazing loop and corkscrew. Awesome.

One of the cool things about this complex is that you can go from Morocco to German to Japan in a matter of minutes. I felt like Chevy Chase in "European Vacation".

With all the running around, jumping on and off rides, I am pleased to report no injuries for the Dibble family. We look to be in good shape for opening day. Let's hope the same holds true for all of the injured ballplayers.

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