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Notebook: Piniella insists he's staying in Tampa

| Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2004

Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella made his strongest statement Tuesday about remaining with the Devil Rays next season. "I'm staying here," Piniella said before his team played Kansas City. Piniella's name has been mentioned as a potential successor to New York Mets manager Art Howe, who will not return next year.

Tampa Bay, with a payroll around $23 million, is attempting to finish higher than the AL East cellar for the first time this season. The Devil Rays offered all of Piniella's coaches, and senior adviser Don Zimmer, two-year contract extensions Tuesday through 2006, which is also when Piniella's four-year deal ends.

  • There was no extra security around the Oakland bullpen last night for the start of a three-game series in Texas, and that didn't concern the Athletics. "There shouldn't be any problem," A's manager Ken Macha said before the game. It was the first home game for the Rangers since the altercation with fans near their bullpen in Oakland last week. Rookie reliever Frank Francisco threw a plastic chair into the stands, breaking the nose of a woman whose husband had been heckling throughout the Sept. 13 game.

  • Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay was activated from the 15-day disabled list and returned to the Toronto Blue Jays to start last night against the New York Yankees. Halladay has been out twice this season because of a tired right shoulder. He had not pitched since July 16, when he lasted only four innings in a loss to Texas. Halladay is 7-7 with a 4.35 ERA in 18 starts. He was 22-7 with a 3.25 ERA last year in winning the Cy Young Award.

  • The Boston Red Sox recalled right-hander Byung-Hyun Kim from Triple-A Pawtucket yesterday before their game against the Baltimore Orioles. Kim was 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA in three starts for Boston this year and 5.34 ERA in 22 games for Pawtucket.

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