Former Phillies manager reportedly to interview

Chicago White Sox: There appears to be a new candidate in the running for the White Sox' managerial opening.

Oakland A's manager Ken Macha said in Wednesday's San Francisco Chronicle that A's bench coach Terry Francona will be interviewing for the Chicago job.

Francona previously managed the Philadelphia Phillies from 1997-2000, compiling a 285-363 record in his four seasons. He also was involved with the Seattle Mariners during their managerial search prior to the 2003 season.

After the White Sox fired Jerry Manuel last month, reports in the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago's Daily Southtown mentioned the White Sox' Double-A Birmingham manager Wally Backman, as well as former major-league managers Buddy Bell and Cito Gaston, as possible replacements.

Cincinnati Reds: Left-hander Danny Serafini cleared waivers and
rejected an outright assignment to the Cincinnati Reds' farm system
Wednesday, making him a free agent.

The Reds also reinstated left-hander Mark Watson from the 60-day
disabled list and designated him for assignment to the minors.
Watson was sidelined since late August by inflamed kidneys.

The Reds signed Serafini out of the Mexican League on Aug. 25 to
help the injury-riddled club through the final weeks.

He went 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts and six relief
appearances overall.

Oakland Athletics: Had the A's advanced to the ALCS to face the New York Yankees, pitcher Mark Mulder would have joined them, the San Jose Mercury News reported Wednesday.

A stress fracture was discovered in Mulder's right thigh bone in mid-August, leading the A's to believe he would not be available for the playoffs. But Mulder told the paper on Tuesday that he has been recovering quickly and could have pitched in relief in a second-round series.

"I would have been ready to go," Mulder told the paper. "I had to wait for the bone to heal, but I busted my butt as far as keeping my upper body in shape, doing all my shoulder work. It's tough because you work so hard, get right there where I'm ready to go, and then we lose."

Mulder was 15-9 with a 3.13 ERA this season.

Houston Astros: Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt had surgery for a
strained right groin Wednesday and will rest for four weeks before
starting strengthening exercises.

He should be ready for spring training in February, general
manager Gerry Hunsicker said.

Oswalt was 10-5 with a 2.97 ERA in 21 starts this season.

New York Yankees: Domestic assault allegations against Yankees reliever Felix Heredia were withdrawn Wednesday.

Juana Pimentel, the complainant who has a 2-year-old son with
Heredia, refused to return from New York City to Canada to testify
against Heredia, who was with the Toronto Blue Jays when the
allegation was made.

Crown attorney Kathleen Caldwell said the prosecution had "no
reasonable prospect of conviction" based primarily on that reason
and information disclosed by a defense lawyer.

While Caldwell explained Pimentel's refusal to testify doesn't
automatically end the prosecution, there were other "significant
hurdles" that would have made prosecuting Heredia "extremely

The investigating officer, Det. Peter Harmsen, said Pimentel
allegedly had bruises and scratches to her face and torso after a
dispute with Heredia turned violent in August 2002.

Heredia married another woman and they have two young children.