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Baseball notebook

| Wednesday, April 11, 2001

TAMPA, Fla. - The wife of former Yankees' slugger Darryl Strawberry said she fully supports her husband, calling his drug addiction a disease that can't be treated in jail.

Charisse Strawberry said despite his recent four-day drug binge, she believes her husband is trying to beat his cocaine addiction.

''Darryl is not a bad person, trying to do good. He's a sick person, trying to get well,'' she said at a news conference. She was named president of the newly formed Tampa affiliate of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

Strawberry, who also has been battling cancer, currently is accused of violating the terms of his sentence for a 1999 drug and prostitution solicitation arrest for the fourth time.

Strawberry disappeared March 29 after he left a drug treatment center. He was arrested four days later. He is scheduled to go before a circuit judge today to hear whether he goes to prison or gets sent back to a drug treatment program.

HARPER TO RECEIVE APOLOGY
Boston Red Sox coach Tommy Harper said he will accept an apology from the manager at a Baltimore hotel where he claimed he was harassed when the team stayed there on its season-opening road trip.

Harper, 60, was sitting near the team bags in the hotel lobby last Thursday when a Red Sox fan struck up a conversation with him. Harper, who is black, said a hotel security guard came up and began questioning him but not the fan, who is white.

Asked whether he thought he was singled out because he is black, Harper said, ''Obviously, yes.''

''I'm 60 years old. I don't react to every slight,'' he said yesterday before Boston's game against the Orioles at Fenway Park. 'I don't get out of bed every day thinking about the '60s. I just go forward every day treating people with respect, and I get respect in return.''

REDS FACE FINE
The Cincinnati Reds could be fined for promoting minor league pitcher Justin Atchley, who is not allowed to play in the majors until May 15.

General manager Jim Bowden said the team simply goofed by promoting Atchley from Triple-A Louisville over the weekend. The left-handed reliever spent two days on the team's roster, in violation of baseball rules.

''We just blundered,'' Bowden said. ''We didn't pick it up.''

Major League Baseball realized the problem Monday and informed Bowden during the second inning of an 8-2 victory in Pittsburgh.

WOODARD GOES ON DL
Steve Woodard, struck on the right elbow by a line drive Monday night, was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Cleveland Indians, who can't seem to get healthy.

Just one week into the season, the Indians have four pitchers and their All-Star third baseman on the DL. And manager Charlie Manuel said that Travis Fryman will be out until at least May 1 and more likely June 1.

Last season, injuries cost the club a sixth straight American League Central title.

''Got to make do. I've been in tougher situations,'' Manuel said yesterday before the Indians played AL Central rival Chicago.

PEREZ MAY AVOID SURGERY

Colorado Rockies shortstop Neifi Perez, who won his first Gold Glove last season, may not need surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

After watching Perez take batting practice and field grounders at Coors Field yesterday, Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said he was ''very encouraged'' Perez would not need surgery.

Perez will be evaluated daily and could return to the lineup in a few weeks. He is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list April 23, a scheduled off day for Colorado.

During yesterday's workout, the switch-hitting Perez took batting practice from both sides of the plate against former Rockies reliever Jerry Dipoto. He also fielded grounders and played catch with Dipoto.

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