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Wednesday, April 12, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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NL Notes: San Antonio viable market, says Marlins owner

Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said before the home opener Tuesday that he believes San Antonio is a viable market for a team and he must determine the club's future "very, very, very soon."

"San Antonio is a very viable market, and they're very serious," Loria said. "Read my lips: They're very serious."

What about Loria's interest in San Antonio?

"It's one of the options that we have to consider," he said without elaborating.

The Marlins are waiting for Major League Baseball to inform them whether San Antonio is deemed viable.

That must happen before the Marlins can decide whether to accept San Antonio's offer to ask voters to extend a hotel and car rental tax to help finance a stadium.

The Marlins must decide if they can generate enough TV revenue in San Antonio, the nation's 37th-largest TV market. Miami-Fort Lauderdale is 17th.

"The early view we have is that it's viable right now," Marlins president David Samson said of San Antonio. "We need to see how revenues are going to grow and make sure it can sustain itself."

Loria said the Marlins need "some answers" about their future "way before" November. "I need resolution sooner rather than later," he said. "... because there are other options. We need to act on those options out of town."

Though Loria said he is optimistic the Marlins will get a stadium locally, "some of that optimism disappeared in the past year ... MLB would like us to solve our problem here, but that doesn't mean it's solvable. And if it's not solvable, we have to do something else."

Arizona: LF Luis Gonzalez needs two doubles to reach 500. That would make him one of 21 players to have 500 doubles and 300 homers in their major-league careers.

Colorado: The Rockies placed reliever Mike DeJean on the 15-day disabled list with discomfort in his right shoulder.

Los Angeles: Dodgers LF Jose Cruz Jr. (flulike symptoms) was pulled from the lineup before the first pitch.

Milwaukee: Brewers ace Ben Sheets (strained back muscle) struck out nine, walked none and scattered three hits over 5-2/3 scoreless innings in a rehab start for Class AAA Nashville in Des Moines, Iowa. He appears on track to rejoin the team this weekend against the New York Mets.

Pittsburgh: Pirates 1B Sean Casey (bruised rib cage) missed Tuesday's game. Casey's injury isn't believed to be serious and he could play again in a day or two.

San Diego: Manager Bruce Bochy said the Padres hope OF Mike Cameron (side muscle) can return in another month.

Minors: Four minor-league baseball pitchers, including two in the Cincinnati Reds' organization, received 50-game suspensions for violating the sport's drug policy. Ramon Ramirez was banned for using an unidentified performance-enhancing substance, while Justin Mallet was suspended for the use of an undisclosed illegal drug, Major League Baseball said in a news release. Waner Mateo, who's in the New York Mets' minor-league system, and Ryan Rafferty, in the Kansas City Royals' organization, also were disciplined for using performance enhancers. All four pitchers played at the Class A level or lower.

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Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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AL West W L Pct. GB Div. Streak
y-LA Angels 100 62 .617 --- 36-21 Won 1
Texas 79 83 .488 21 30-27 Lost 1
Oakland 75 86 .466 24.5 26-31 Lost 5
Seattle 61 101 .377 39 22-35 Won 3

y - clinched division, x - clinched playoff berth

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