A Major League Problem for Baseball
The U.S. Olympic baseball team, whose roster was announced last Wednesday, will get together for the first time next week in San Jose, but there will be a few no-shows at the party.
Three players -- left-hander Geno Espineli, left-hander Clayton Richard and catcher Taylor Teagarden -- all were called up to their major league clubs in recent days, making them ineligible to compete in Beijing.
Players under contract to big-league teams, as well as other professional players, can compete in the Olympic Games -- but not if they're on their club's 25-man major league roster.
Teagarden was called up Friday by the Texas Rangers, Espineli was promoted on Sunday to the San Francisco Giants, and Richard joined the Chicago White Sox earlier today. All three had been playing in Triple A.
USA Baseball, which had one open roster spot to fill by Tuesday's deadline for setting Olympic teams, now must find four players. A team spokesman said a final roster will be released on Wednesday.
-- Kevin Baxter
Photo: Texas catcher Taylor Teagarden after the Rangers' 1-0 victory Sunday over Minnesota. Credit: Jim Mone/Associated Press Photo