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Junior taunted while down with dislocated shoulder

4/6/2003

CINCINNATI (AP) -- No matter how hard he tried, Ken Griffey Jr.
couldn't stay healthy for more than a few games.

Griffey dislocated his right shoulder while trying to make a
diving catch Saturday, making a bad opening week a whole lot worse
for the Cincinnati Reds. The All-Century center fielder isn't
expected back anytime soon.

"He's definitely out for a significant amount of time,''
manager Bob Boone said. "It's not good.''

His latest major injury occurred in the eighth inning of a 9-7
loss to the Chicago Cubs. As Griffey rolled on the ground in pain
Saturday, outfielder Adam Dunn heard a couple of fans at the new
ballpark taunt him.

"The guy's lying there hurting as bad as you could hurt, and
you get stupid people up there yelling,'' Dunn said angrily. "It's
a joke.''

After the shoulder was popped back into place, Griffey was taken
to a hospital for tests to determine the extent of the damage.

X-rays taken at Good Samaritan Hospital found no break. More tests were done to get an idea how
badly the shoulder was hurt when he landed on it with the arm fully
extended. The Reds said no information would be available until
after he's examined again Sunday by team medical director Dr. Timothy Kremchek.

Griffey, 33, has been repeatedly sidelined by injuries since he
returned to his hometown team in a February 2000 trade.

He pulled a hamstring during that first season -- a sign of
things to come.

He tore the same hamstring while rounding third base in a spring
training game in 2001, then tore a tendon in his right knee while
running the bases only six games into last season.

Griffey did a lot of work to build up his legs over the winter
and came out of spring training healthy. He was gone again after
landing hard as he vainly tried to catch Paul Bako's bases-loaded
triple.

"You could see it was a different Junior this year in spring
training,'' outfielder Austin Kearns said. "He was going about his
business and having a good time out there.''

It was another gut-wrenching moment for the Reds in their new
ballpark, where they've won only one of their first seven games,
including two exhibitions.

"We just have absolutely no luck,'' starter Danny Graves said.
"It seems like the baseball gods are against us right now. I don't
know what we did to them. Maybe they're too impressed with the new
stadium to help us out.''

The visitors keep winning at Great American Ball Park, where the
home team has had only one big moment -- Griffey's Opening-Day
double for the first official hit.

A day after hitting his 500th home run, Chicago's Sammy Sosa was
1-for-3 with three walks. Bako had a career-high six RBI for the
Cubs, three on the triple as Griffey got hurt.

With the Cubs ahead 6-5, Griffey turned his back to the infield
and tried to run down Bako's drive with two outs. Griffey stretched
his right arm and dived, but the ball eluded his outstretched
glove.

Griffey landed hard on his right side, rolled over, grabbed the
shoulder and kicked his legs in pain. He remained on the ground for
several minutes, making no attempt to get up, while teammates ran
to him.

After trainers reached him, Griffey got up and walked out the
center field gate next to the Reds' bullpen, holding his right arm
carefully. Dr. Timothy Kremchek put the shoulder back in place.

"It took Dr. Kremchek a while to get the shoulder back in
place,'' general manager Jim Bowden said, shaking his head. "It's
not good.''

Griffey was miffed that the Reds tried to trade him over the
winter -- San Diego's Phil Nevin invoked his no-trade clause to
scuttle a deal that was in place.

Griffey seemed determined to prove his critics wrong by staying
healthy this season, but has quickly ended up in the same
predicament.

He has played in only 186 games the last three seasons and hit
31 homers. His only homer this season left him at 469.

Griffey was the second star to sustain a major shoulder injury
this week. The Yankees' Derek Jeter dislocated his right shoulder
on opening day in a violent collision at third base.

The injury overshadowed a ragged game, with Bako's triple making
the difference.

"I thought when I hit it, it was a double for sure, and then it
just kind of hung up there,'' Bako said. "The more I saw Junior
running, the more I thought he was going to catch it. I was running
hard, and I didn't know he was hurt until I stopped.''

Carlos Zambrano (1-0), making his first start of the season,
struck out eight in 5 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and three
hits. Joe Borowski pitched the ninth for his first save.

Jimmy Haynes (0-2) gave up five runs, seven hits and five walks
in four innings, leaving because of spasms in his back. Haynes said
his back was tight before he got to the ballpark, and got worse as
the game went along.

Haynes forced in a run in the first inning with a bases-loaded
walk, and Bako followed by an RBI single.

Zambrano faced seven batters in the second after a pair of walks
and an error by shortstop Alex Gonzalez loaded the bases. Haynes
followed with a two-run single that tied the score.

Haynes' control problems led to three more runs in the third,
when he walked three, and Bako had a two-run infield single.

Dunn homered for Cincinnati in the fourth to make it 5-3, but
the Cubs added a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Gonzalez.
Aaron Boone's two-run double in the seventh made it 6-5.

After Bako's triple gave the Cubs a cushion, Dunn hit a two-run
homer in the eighth off Mike Remlinger.

Game notes
There have been 20 home runs hit in the first five games at
Great American Ball Park. ... The Reds have used at least five
pitchers in all five games. ... Bako's previous career high was
four RBI on July 25, 2001, also against the Reds. ... Bako's four
hits tied his career high. ... Cubs SS Alex Gonzalez tied his
career high with four hits. ... Cubs outfielders didn't have a
putout.