R. Martinez to miss All-Star Game


Ramon Martinez of the Los Angeles Dodgers strained his left hip during yesterday's 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves and will not pitch in tomorrow's All-Star Game.

Martinez, whose 12th victory tied him with the Atlanta Braves' Tom Glavine for the National League lead, was examined by Dr. Frank Jobe after leaving the game in the sixth inning and was ordered not to play tomorrow night.

However, he will make the trip for the second year in a row. Last year, the right-hander pitched one inning in the game at Wrigley Field with a walk and two strikeouts.

"I would like to pitch, but Dr. Jobe recommended that I shouldn't pitch," Martinez said. "But I don't think I'll miss a start."

Martinez hurt himself trying to reach Deion Sanders' roller to shortstop and felt his hip tighten. He pitched to three more batters, but felt pain each time he landed on his left leg.

The development may put Mike Morgan in the game. Morgan was angry when he was passed over by National League manager Lou Piniella despite a 9-5 record.

"Since Ramon's hurt now, If I get a call tonight, it'll be a tough decision," Morgan said. "But I'll probably go because of the fact that Ramon's hurt and he was going to represent the Dodgers as a pitcher."

* RANGERS: Julio Franco was cleared of heart problems and given the go-ahead to play in the All-Star Game.

Cardiac specialist Dr. Charles Cramer of Arlington said after performing two procedures that the Texas second baseman's chest pains were caused, as believed Friday, by a combination of heat and caffeine.

Franco checked into Arlington Memorial Hospital yesterday morning and was given an electrocardiogram, followed by a cardiac catheterization, which checks the blood vessels of the heart for blockages.

* PIRATES: Club president Carl Barger, in line to become the chief executive of the expansion Florida Marlins, said he'll decide his baseball future in a few days.

Barger, a friend of Marlins owner H. Wayne Huizenga for 35 years, has been linked to the Marlins' presidency for weeks. An announcement could come as early as today.

"I'm going to do it at the very earliest moment," Barger said. "It's going to happen very soon. I can hardly wait to end all of the speculation."

Last week, Barger said it was "a fair conclusion" to say he had the right of first refusal on the Miami job.

Several top Pirates officials, who didn't want to be quoted, said Barger hasn't officially told them he will take the Miami job. But at least one member of the Pirates' 14-member board of directors expects Barger to leave for Miami.

Barger holds more than 100,000 shares of stock in Huizenga-owned Blockbuster Entertainment Corp. and serves on its board of directors. Barger also may receive a financial stake in the Marlins to leave the Pirates.

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