Baseball

Scientist criticizes baseball's HGH test

Uecker back, along with one-liners

Bob Uecker is back in the booth with a fixed-up ticker. His sense of humor never changed. A fit and trim-looking Uecker held a 30-minute news conference Friday to discuss his recovery from heart surgery. "I'm ready to rock and roll," he said.

The 75-year-old broadcaster underwent surgery April 30 to replace his aortic valve, aortic root and part of his ascending aorta, and had a coronary bypass, too. He said that he felt great, but admitted that his two doctors, Alfred Nicolosi and Jim Kleczka, might not agree.

He joked that they let him return because he promised they could throw out a ceremonial first pitch on Friday night. "I hope they do better than they did on my incision," he said.

Hart hurts wrist crashing into wall

Brewers right fielder and Bowling Green native Corey Hart injured his right wrist when he crashed into the wall down the first-base line chasing Christian Guzman's fly ball in the third inning Friday night. X-rays were negative, but he'll undergo an MRI on Saturday.

A scientist who has worked to develop a urine test for human growth hormone says the blood test baseball plans to use for minor-leaguers can only detect the substance for 6 to 12 hours. Don Catlin said Friday that the test, announced a day earlier by baseball commissioner Bud Selig, is of limited use. In February, a British rugby league player became the first athlete suspended following a positive HGH test.

"The fact that it's been around for a few thousand tests and only one positive suggests that either there's much less growth hormone being used than we thought, which is doubtful, or the period of detectability is really pretty short — a few hours. It's probably the latter," said Catlin, adding detection probably would work only with "middle-of-the-night testing."

Gary Wadler, who leads the World Anti-Doping Agency committee that determines the banned-substances list, said any test is better than none. Plus, he said HGH likely will be detected by it.

Short hops

■ Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton received a three-game suspension and a fine for bumping an umpire during an argument in Thursday night's game against the Twins. Wigginton said he will appeal the ruling.

■ The Orioles activated second baseman Brian Roberts from the 60-day disabled list and put him in the lineup Friday night against the Twins. Roberts hasn't played in the majors since April 9. He was sidelined by a strained abdominal muscle and a herniated disk in his back.

■ The Indians activated outfielder Shin-Soo Choo from the DL. Choo has been sidelined since spraining his right thumb on July 3, an injury that cost Cleveland's best player a spot on the AL's All-Star team.

■ Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel dismissed hitting coach Milt Thompson on Friday and replaced him with Greg Gross, hoping to jump-start an offense that's been struggling for nearly two months. Philadelphia ranks 12th in the NL in batting (.254) and on-base percentage. (.322).

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