Rojas loses bucks

MONTREAL - Montreal Expos pitcher Mel Rojas lost his salary arbitration case and will make $1.3 million this season instead of $2.1 million. Rojas, a 28-year-old right-hander, made $450,000 last season. He is 1-1 this year with a 3.72 ERA and 11 saves.


No TV deal

NEW YORK - Baseball, without a labor agreement since 1993, is now also without a television deal.

ABC and NBC decided Thursday to quit the sport after this season. The pair, partners with owners in The Baseball Network, decided to pull out of the joint venture when acting commissioner Bud Selig refused to make a decision on renewing it for 1996.

The joint partnership, which began with the 1994 season, will terminate after this year's World Series. If ABC and NBC don't bid on baseball's rights for next season, owners likely will attempt to sell them to CBS or the Fox Network.

Rich Levin, the spokesman for the ruling executive council, confirmed Thursday night the networks had told baseball officials they were terminating the deal. ABC spokesman Mark Mandel refused to confirm or deny ABC's involvement would end. NBC spokesman Ed Markey said it wouldn't surprise him if his network pulled out.

Baseball's $255 million, six-year contract with ESPN, which runs through 1999, isn't affected by Thursday's decision.

Mantle gets steroids

DALLAS - Mickey Mantle's body is experiencing an expected "light rejection" of his newly transplanted liver, so he is being treated with high doses of steroids, his doctors say.

Doctors performed a biopsy of the baseball great's new liver Wednesday after blood tests showed signs of diminished liver function, said Dr. Goran Klintmalm, medical director of the Baylor Institute for Transplant Sciences.

Strawberry's back

TAMPA, Fla. - Darryl Strawberry prepared for the end of his 60-day suspension by donning Yankee pinstripes, taking his first swings in the batting cage and accepting responsibility for his drug and alcohol problems.

The 33-year-old outfielder, who wants to put the past behind him, reported to the Yankees' minor-league complex. He will play for the Tampa Yankees in the Class A Florida State League after his suspension ends.

Selig trims committee

NEW YORK - Preparing for the resumption of labor talks, acting commissioner Bud Selig will pare the owners' negotiating committee to three.

Boston Red Sox chief executive officer John Harrington, chairman of the committee since last October, will remain. He will be joined by Colorado Rockies chairman Jerry McMorris, and Kansas City Royals CEO David Glass, viewed by the union as a hard-liner.

Alomar drops appeal

NEW YORK - Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Roberto Alomar dropped an appeal of his suspension, and AL president Gene Budig cut the penalty from two games to one. Alomar will miss Friday's game against the Yankees.

Texas acquires Cook

ARLINGTON, Texas - The Texas Rangers acquired left-hander Dennis Cook from the Cleveland Indians for minor-league shortstop Guillermo Mercedes.

Cook, 32, had a 6.39 ERA and no record in 11 appearances. Mercedes, 20, will pitch for Columbus in the South Atlantic League.


Arizona eyes Raptors

PHOENIX - Executives with the major league baseball expansion Arizona Diamondbacks were to take a look today at Utah's Ogden Raptors, a Class A summer Pioneer League team in their second season.

The Raptors have no major league affiliate; the Diamondbacks want a farm team by the 1996 season.

Dave Baggott, Raptors president and chief executive officer, has said he'd love to link up with the Phoenix club, and Rich Dozer, Diamondbacks president, calls Baggott "a first-class guy . . . you'd want to be in business with."

Dozer and Joe Garagiola Jr., Diamondbacks general manager, planned to tour Ogden, talk with city officials and inspect plans for a stadium that could be completed by next season.