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Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Reds reportedly make offer to Narron

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Cincinnati Reds: The team has talked to interim manager Jerry Narron about running the club again next season.

"At the moment we have no agreement," general manager Dan O'Brien told The Associated Press on Wednesday night. "We're hopeful we can work something out with Jerry, but at this point nothing has been consummated."

Narron told the Dayton Daily News he has been offered the job, but hasn't accepted it yet.

"It isn't written in cement," he told the paper, but later said, "I'm sure I'll take it."

Narron began this season as the Reds' bench coach and was promoted June 21 with the firing of Dave Miley after a 27-43 start. Cincinnati is 46-42 under Narron, including an 11-4 win at Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

The Reds are finishing off their fifth straight losing season, their longest such streak since 1945-55.

O'Brien wouldn't divulge whether a contract was part of the talks that he said have focused on the responsibilities Narron would have as manager.

"We have talked regarding parameters of the job, but that is the extent of our discussion," O'Brien said.

Narron, who was in his second season as Miley's bench coach, had a 134-162 record as Texas' manager in 2001-02. He was Boston's bench coach in 2003 and managed four years in Baltimore's minor league system.

Pena injured crashing into wall: Center fielder Wily Mo Pena was injured when he crashed into the wall diving for a ball hit by Bill Hall of the Milwaukee Brewers.

Pena hit the wall in center with his head and left shoulder as he dived for Hall's hit in the fourth inning. Pena bounced off the wall, dropped his glove and remained on the ground while right fielder Austin Kearns retrieved the ball.

Kearns threw to Felipe Lopez, who threw out Hall at home as he tried for an inside-the-park home run.

Pena remained on the ground for about 5 minutes while Reds trainers worked on him. He stood up then was taken off the field on a cart.

Reds officials said X-rays taken at Miller Park were negative. He was diagnosed with a hyperextended lower back and will be evaluated on Thursday.

Baltimore Orioles: As a show of appreciation for his support of the franchise in its bid to achieve financial stability in the wake of the Expos' move to Washington, Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich was honored by the Orioles on Tuesday.

The Republican governor took batting practice and fielded grounders in the shadow of the adjacent warehouse beyond the right-field wall, which was adorned by a sign that read, "THANK YOU! GOVERNOR EHRLICH."

After hitting the ball solidly against coach Dave Cash, Ehrlich was asked to size up the competition in his bid for re-election, most notably Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley and Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan, both Democrats.

"I just fulfilled my childhood dream right here," Ehrlich said. "I think people should follow their dreams. I did, and I encourage all the young people wherever I go to do the same thing. Martin O'Malley has a dream to be governor? Go for it. He should run. Doug Duncan should run."

He didn't hit any over the fence, but he made solid contact at the plate.

"I was just focusing on hitting the ball," Ehrlich said. "I had Terry Crowley, the best hitting instructor in the major leagues, watching every move. It was a little intimidating."

Perlozzo getting anxious
Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo probably will have to wait until after the end of the season to find out if the Orioles will remove the "interim" tag from his title.

The anticipation has become almost too much to bear.

"I'm anxious to get the job," Perlozzo said. "I'm more like, 'When are they going to name me?' "

Perlozzo's confidence belied his 20-30 record since taking over for Lee Mazzilli on Aug. 4, but he doesn't expect to be judged on wins and losses, given the distractions he's had to deal with over the past two months.

Since he took over, the Orioles have welcomed back and dismissed Rafael Palmeiro, terminated the contract of pitcher Sidney Ponson and lost Sammy Sosa to injury. They've also had to do without second baseman Brian Roberts since he dislocated his elbow on Sept. 20.

Former manager Mazzilli joining Cold Pizza
Former Baltimore Orioles manager Lee Mazzilli will join ESPN2's Cold Pizza as a baseball analyst.

A former first base coach for the New York Yankees under manager Joe Torre, Mazzilli played for five major league teams over 14 seasons. The 1979 National League All-Star will make his Cold Pizza debut on Tuesday.

"Mazzilli was a player, a coach and a manager," said Norby Williamson, ESPN's senior vice president and managing editor. "With two World Series rings, he will bring invaluable insight to our viewers."

Minnesota Twins: First baseman Justin Morneau is expected to have his left arm examined this week.

Morneau, bothered most of the year by soreness in his elbow, will likely have an MRI test done Thursday or Friday to examine his forearm for any problems.

"He hasn't told me he needs to be shut down yet, so we're playing him," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

The Twins anticipated the 24-year-old Morneau anchoring their lineup in his first full major league season, but he went into a slump in mid-May that he never fully escaped.

Morneau entered Wednesday's game against the Kansas City Royals batting only .236 with 21 homers and 73 RBI in 474 at-bats.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.