The Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series last season without Fernando Valenzuela. Now, he's trying to prove he can help them repeat.
So Valenzuela's workout Sunday at Vero Beach, Fla., attracted more than the usual notice. Valenzuela, who missed most of the final two months of last seasonwith shoulder problems, threw for 20 to 25 minutes."I was very encouraged," Dodgers pitching coach Ron Perranoski said. "He was spotting the ball well today and had good velocity. Fernando worked hard during the offseason and, because of his hard work, his strength and conditioning is improved as compared to other springs."
Valenzuela is scheduled to throw batting practice for the first time this spring on Thursday.
Over on the gulf coast, new Chicago White Sox manager Jeff Torborg was sounding like a tough guy.
"I don't want these guys to look like a bunch of slobs. It's part of the discipline we're talking about," Torborg said at Sarasota, Fla.
"I believe in fines. That's quite a motivating factor. They should think just the way we do - what that money can buy. And the wives will point it out to them, too."
In July 1987, Chicago general manager Larry Himes required the players to have all three stripes on their stirrup socks showing or face fines. The White Sox finished fifth that year and fifth again last year.
Meanwhile, Randy Myers and Mike Greenwell are not quite sure they're ready to let the offseason end.
Myers, the left-handed reliever who led the New York Mets' bullpen with 26 saves, told the team he would not show up to spring training until his contract is resolved.
Myers made $108,000 last year year and the Mets have offered him $300,000. Myers wants $350,000.
"These things are always settled," Mets general manager Frank Cashen said at the Mets camp in Port St. Lucie, Fla. "He doesn't have the seniority for arbitration or free agency. He has no place to go."
Mets manager Davey Johnson has become used to Myers' stubborness.
"There's not an easy way you can communicate with Randy," he said. "I know he has ears, but I don't know if he hears with them. Where is he, in Vancouver? Is it cold there? He'll show up sooner or later."
Greenwell, Boston's left fielder, had threatened not to report to camp, but he worked out Sunday in Winter Haven, Fla., with the pitchers and catchers.
"I want to play baseball and I'm ready to play baseball," Greenwell said. "It's my life. All I care about is playing baseball."
He might leave camp on Monday if his meeting with Boston general manager Lou Gorman does not go well.