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Schilling hasn’t ruled out pitching against Yanks on opening day

Associated Press

Boston Red Sox ace Curt Schilling didn’t rule out being ready to pitch on opening day.

Asked twice if that were out of the question, he said only that he would determine his next step after a simulated game today in which he plans to throw about 60 pitches.

Schilling, who underwent ankle surgery in November, hasn’t pitched in an exhibition game. The Red Sox open against the Yankees in New York on April 3.

He has said he will honor a subpoena to testify Thursday before the House Government Reform Committee. Had he been able to stay at spring training rather than testify, he would have thrown the simulated game on Monday or Tuesday.

“There’s never going to be a good time for something like this,” he said of the hearing. “We had to rearrange my entire schedule this week.”

Schilling said he was working with his lawyer on what questions to expect from the committee.

“If legally I have to go, I’m going. … When you get subpoenaed, you don’t have a choice,” he said. “I only know what I’m going to say in my statement and be prepared to answer questions.”

Schilling has thrown several times on the side and said he hasn’t regressed but, “I don’t feel like the progression has been consistent from time to time.”

Manager Terry Francona has said Schilling is a perfectionist who isn’t happy until he throws pitches at 94 mph that hit the corner of home plate. But Schilling hasn’t felt completely comfortable when throwing from the mound.

“I’m not frustrated now that I’m not perfect,” Schilling said. “I’m frustrated that I don’t have the ability to be perfect.”

Bonds still possible for opener

Barry Bonds might be in the San Francisco Giants’ lineup on opening day even though he hasn’t played in a spring training game yet.

“One of the things I’ve said from the beginning is that he doesn’t need a whole lot of competition,” Giants trainer Stan Conte said. “He still has time to make opening day.”

Bonds, who is rehabilitating his right knee after undergoing arthroscopic surgery during the off-season, spent Tuesday afternoon in the training room and didn’t work out on the field.

“He has done some baseball work all along,” Conte said. “It’s not like he hasn’t been doing anything.”

Tigers release Sanchez

Center fielder Alex Sanchez was released by the Detroit Tigers.

Sanchez has frustrated Detroit with his sloppy play in the field in the past, and did again during spring training.

“We’ve had a chance to watch him this spring and his defense was just not up to the level we like,” Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski said at spring training in Lakeland, Fla.

Detroit hopes either Craig Monroe or Nook Logan will emerge as its top center fielder. Tigers manager Alan Trammell said Dewayne Wise and Alexis Gomez were also candidates to win the job.

Wood, Prior will test arms

Injured Chicago Cubs pitchers Kerry Wood and Mark Prior are scheduled to throw today.

Wood, who has not pitched since March 9 because of bursitis in his right shoulder and irritation around the rotator-cuff muscles, will throw 20 to 30 pitches from the mound, pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. Prior, sidelined by inflammation around the ulnar nerve in his right elbow, will play catch on flat ground.

Wood is scheduled to start on opening day April 4 at Arizona. Prior is slated to follow the next day.

Sweeney returns to action

Kansas City slugger Mike Sweeney will rejoin the Royals’ lineup today after the first baseman and designated hitter missed five spring training games with a sore back.

“Sweeney’s ready to go,” manager Tony Pena said. “We just decided to give him one more day. That way everybody would feel comfortable. But he’s ready to go, and he will be playing (today).”

The Royals also announced that third baseman Chris Truby has a broken left wrist that will have to be immobilized for three weeks before he can begin rehabilitation. It was not clear when the injury occurred, the team said.

Truby, signed in the off-season as a minor league free agent, had been the leading candidate to replace Joe Randa, who left for Cincinnati as a free agent.

Mark Teahen, who has no major league experience, is the only true third baseman left in camp.

Rivera improving

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera felt better, one day after an MRI exam showed mild burstitis in his right elbow. He might throw in the bullpen session Friday.

“More range today,” Rivera said. “A little bit better today.”

Yankees reliever Paul Quantrill will be sidelined for at least a few days because of soreness in his left ribcage.

Blue arrested for DUI

Former Oakland A’s star Vida Blue was arrested in Scottsdale, Ariz., for investigation of driving under the influence following a minor traffic accident.

Blue, the 1971 American League MVP and Cy Young winner, was arrested early Sunday after officers called to the accident scene noticed he was impaired.

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