EXTRAS: Ortiz is no spring chicken

EXTRAS: Ortiz is no spring chicken
February 23, 2012, 2:09 am
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- There arent many veteran non-roster pitchers in camp. Evenfewer own a winning decision in a World Series game.Ramon Ortiz wont draw attention to that. It was against theGiants, in Game 3 of the 2002 series at Pacific Bell Park, after all.But Ortiz already knows his way around Scottsdale.

He's actually in Giants camp for the second time in fourseasons. He pitched well for Triple-A Fresno in 2009, posting a 3.05 ERA as astarter and long man, but didnt get promoted that season. After quick stopswith the Mets, Rays, Dodgers and Cubs, hes back on another minor league dealwith the Giants. Now 38, he still has the same wiry body as he did when he wasa rookie.Everybody is new here, he said. But Lincecum and Cain.Ortiz threw a lot in winter ball and it shows. Just watchinghis bullpens, its clear hes ahead of most everyone else.If Ortiz pitches for the Giants this season, itll mean PlanA, B and C didnt go so swiftly. But hes not a bad guy to have in camp. Hispresence also gives me a reason to retell one of my favorite spring trainingstories: Three facts to set up: 1. Ortiz was a fairly green rookiewith the Angels when I was covering the team. 2. The prankster on that club atthe time was Jarrod Washburn. 3. Whenever teams would bus to games in Tucson,theyd pass Rooster Cogburns Ostrich Farm alongside I-10.One day, Washburn arranged for an ostrich to visit theclubhouse. He led the big bird into the room, and everyone was stunned intolaughter.Except Ortiz. He jumped on his chair in a fit of panic, hiseyes bulged, he pointed frantically and screamed repeatedly: Pollo grande!Pollo grande!Yep, that was one big chicken.--Ortiz also was among the many international players caughtup in fudging their birthdates. After it was learned that Ortiz had aged threeyears, Wally Joyner wheeled in a table with three birthday cakes, candlesablaze.--Edgar Renteria is leaning toward retirement, Fox Sports KenRosenthal reported. He had minor league offers from two NL clubs but turnedthem down. He was a bust for most of his time as a Giant, but the words WorldSeries MVP sure do season up a stew. Id imagine the Giants will be invitingRenteria to AT&T Park many times in future seasons. (Reunion Tuesdays, asthe promotional schedule refers to them.)--And what of Juan Uribe, another of those lovable misfits andhero of Game 6 in Philadelphia?Hes entering year two of his three-year, 21 million deal with the Dodgers, and early returns are not good. Not only did Uribe hit .204 in 270 at-bats, buthe was shut down because of surgery to repair a sports hernia.The AP reported that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and trainerStan Conte traveled to the Dominican Republic over the winter and presentedthe infielder with an offseason regimen.Since I am pretty sure they have phones and fax machines inthe Dominican, Id imagine there were a few other messages the Dodgers wantedto deliver to Uribe.We assume hes healthy, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly toldAP. The injury, we feel like thats passed.

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