Expos' Hassey likely to retire


Bothered by sore knees, Montreal Expos catcher Ron Hassey will return home today and is "99 percent certain" he will retire from baseball.

Hassey, 38, the only catcher to catch two perfect games in his major-league career, announced his intention yesterday after meeting with Expos management.

Hassey (.227, 1 HR, 14 RBI) is in his 13th big-league season. He was signed by the Expos as a free agent last winter, after spending the previous three years with the American League champion Oakland Athletics.

Last month, Hassey was the catcher for Dennis Martinez's perfect game, just as he was for the perfect game by Len Barker of the Cleveland Indians in 1981.

* METS: Pitcher Dwight Gooden has a slight pulling away of muscle, the anterior capsule, from his right shoulder socket and will undergo a diagnostic procedure this weekend to determine whether surgery is needed.

Gooden, who isn't expected to pitch the rest of the season, felt tightness in an Aug. 22 start against the Cardinals.

The Mets also announced that left-hander Sid Fernandez will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Saturday and will be out the rest of the season. Fernandez missed the first half of the season with a broken bone in his left arm.

* PIRATES: Third baseman John Wehner, the first Pittsburgh native to play for the club since Sam McDowell, will have surgery today to repair a ruptured disk in his lower back.

The operation is expected to end Wehner's season, but the Pirates will not issue a prognosis until the surgery is completed.

Wehner, who began the season in Class AA, jumped to the

majors in July after Jeff King injured his back. He platooned at third with Bobby Bonilla, hitting .340 with seven RBI in 37 games.

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