SURPRISE, Ariz. - Matt Harrison concedes that he likely wont be ready to pitch for the Texas Rangers by opening day. The left-hander, who hasnt thrown in a week because of stiffness in his neck and back, just hopes things are different from last year. He was the opening day starter then, but made only one more start. "Kind of trade-off from last year," Harrison said Sunday. "Only making two and miss 30, and miss two and make 30, that would be nice. Even though Harrison is feeling much better after switching beds, he was still returning to Texas to be examined by the specialist who did both operations last year for a herniated disk in his lower back. "I think at this stage, based upon the initial symptoms that he reported, we just wanted to make sure were all clear before we ramp up again," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. Harrison had also been scheduled to throw live batting practice last Tuesday and wanted to pitch, but the Rangers held him out of that as a precaution because of neck stiffness. Two days later, he was scratched again from a throwing session with stiffness in his back. An MRI showed no immediate cause for concern, but the Rangers scheduled an appointment with Dr. Drew Dossett, who wasnt available until Monday because he was at the NFL combine. "I think for sure the bed was an issue. Since Ive gotten out of that bed and switched beds I havent had any issues," Harrison said. "Everybody usually feels sore the first couple of days just getting back acclimated to running around out there." Harrison won 18 games and was an All-Star in 2012, then got a $55 million, five-year contract. He had never had any back issues before last spring, and still made his first two scheduled starts. After going 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA, Harrison got two epidural injections and a second opinion before two operations in a matter of weeks. Harrison threw for a couple of months with no problems before camp this year, so he expect to have to completely start over when he is cleared by the Rangers to throw again. He hopes hes able to make his season debut no later than the middle of April. "This little setback set them on high alert and theyre probably going to slow it down a little bit," he said. "Which I hate because going through a healthy off-season and being ready to go its tough to get shut down. But its early." Levine said the Rangers put a lot more value on having Harrison healthy for the stretch drive late in the season than a start in April. "Were not panicking," manager Ron Washington said. "He is feeling better. Hes not feeling what caused us to shut him down anymore, so hopefully when the doctor sees him, it was just was some residual from everything he had done." http://www.hockeysharksshop.com/Black-Martin-Havlat-Jersey/
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. By the end of the next inning, Lee was on his way to the hospital with a ribcage injury that left Houston to deal with questions about when hell be back on the field. Lees shot provided the offence and Bud Norris combined with three relievers on a three-hitter in the Astros 5-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.NEW YORK -- Ralph Kiner was a smash as a slugger, launching so many home runs over the left-field wall at old Forbes Field that fans nicknamed it his corner. Years later, as one of baseballs most beloved broadcasters, he became a big hit in a new "Kiners Korner." Kiner, the Hall of Famer whose frequent malaprops endeared him to New York Mets listeners for more than a half-century, died Thursday. He was 91. The Hall of Fame said Kiner died at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif., with his family at his side. "He was a jewel," Mets Hall of Famer Tom Seaver said. Kiner hit 369 home runs during a 10-year career cut short by back problems. He debuted with Pittsburgh in 1946 and won or tied for the National League lead in homers in each of his first seven seasons. He was popular off the field, too. His Hollywood pals included Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, he squired Liz Taylor and Janet Leigh, and he played himself in the 1951 film "Angels in the Outfield." Kiner became a Mets announcer in their expansion season of 1962, working 17 years as a trio with Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson. Kiner called their games for 52 years in all, including a handful of them last season. Kiner was already a fixture on the Mets airwaves when he was inducted into the Hall in 1975. He was elected with just one vote to spare in his 15th and final year on the Baseball Writers Association of America ballot. The six-time All-Star outfielder still ranks sixth all-time with a home run every 14.1 at-bats. He averaged more than 100 RBIs per season and hit .279 with the Pirates, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland. When he retired, Kiner was sixth on the career home run list. To generations of TV viewers and radio listeners, his postcareer acclaim was as great as the honours he earned on the field. "Kiners Korner" was a delight for players and fans alike, where stars would join Kiner for postgame chats. "I loved going on Kiners Korner. I enjoyed talking baseball with Ralph, especially learning about players from his era," former Mets star Dwight Gooden said. "But what really made it special was every time you went on, you got a $100. For a rookie like me in 1984, a $100 was a big deal." Kiner was known for tripping over his own words, and often laughed about his own comments. "If Casey Stengel were alive today, hed be spinning in his grave," he once commented after a misplay. "On Fathers Day, we again wish you all a happy birthday," he also said. Then there was the time Gary Carter hit a winning home run in the 10th inning of his Mets debut in 1985 and Kiner introduced him as Gary Cooper, the famed actor. "Gary was a great sport about it," Kiner remembered. "He came on Kiners Korner afterward and introduced himself to me as Gary Cooper and even signed a picture to me, Gary Cooper Carter." His observations were pretty astute, too. Talking about a former Gold GGlove outfielder, Kiner remarked: "Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water.dddddddddddd The other third is covered by Garry Maddox." Kiner had a stroke about a decade ago that slowed his speech, but remained an occasional part of the Mets announcing crew. Fellow announcers such as Keith Hernandez and Ron Darling always brightened when Kiner was alongside them. Younger fans who were born long after Kiner retired also reveled in his folksy tales. "As one of baseballs most prolific power hitters for a decade, Ralph struck fear into the hearts of the best pitchers of baseballs Golden Era despite his easygoing nature, disarming humility and movie-star smile," Hall President Jeff Idelson said in a statement. "His engaging personality and profound knowledge of the game turned him into a living room companion for millions of New York Mets fans who adored his game broadcasts and later Kiners Korner for more than half a century," he said. "He was as comfortable hanging out in Palm Springs with his friend Bob Hope as he was hitting in front of Hank Greenberg at Forbes Field." As a teen, hanging around the Hollywood Stars in the Pacific Coast League, Kiner shook hands with Babe Ruth and talked ball with Ty Cobb. In high school, he hit a home run off Satchel Paige during a barnstorming tour. After serving as a Navy pilot in World War II, Kiner had a strong rookie year and won the NL homer title with 23, beating Johnny Mize by one. He really broke loose the next year, hitting 51 home runs with 127 RBIs while batting .313. Stuck on poor teams, Kiner never made it to the post-season. He made his mark in All-Star games, homering in three straight. Kiner connected in the 1950 showcase at Comiskey Park, but made more noise with another ball he hit in the game. He hit a long drive to the base of the scoreboard in left-centre field and Ted Williams broke his left elbow making the catch, causing him to miss two months. "Williams always said I ruined his batting stroke, that he could never hit after that," Kiner said. "Yeah, sure. He only hit .388 in 57." Mets owner Fred Wilpon remembered Kiner as "one of the most beloved people in Mets history -- an original Met and extraordinary gentleman." "His knowledge of the game, wit, and charm entertained generations of Mets fans. Like his stories, he was one of a kind," he said. "Our sport and society today lost one of the all-time greats." The Mets named the home TV booth at Shea Stadium in his honour. The Pirates retired Kiners No. 4. "All of us at the Pittsburgh Pirates have heavy hearts upon learning of Ralph Kiners passing," the team said in a statement. Ralph McPherran Kiner was born on Oct. 27, 1922. He was first married to tennis star Nancy Chaffee. Following their divorce he married Barbara George, and following another divorce he married DiAnn Shugart, who died in 2004. ' ' '