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OAKLAND, Calif. — Ron Washington appreciates a vote of confidence as much as anybody.
While it’s nice to know the Texas Rangers want to keep him around as manager beyond this season, his future is not weighing heavily on his mind at the moment.
“I’m all about baseball,” Washington said Friday before the AL West-leading Rangers opened a key weekend series against the second-place Oakland Athletics.
The Rangers recently told Washington they want him back next season. Washington is in the fourth and final season of his contract.
Texas went into Friday night’s series opener at Oakland leading the A’s by 8½ games, by far the largest gap in any of baseball’s six divisions.
Reds talking with Baker
With less than two months left on his three-year contract, Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker finally has heard from management about a contract extension.
“I’ve been approached in the last couple of days,” Baker told reporters Friday. “Things start from there.”
Baker has guided an inexperienced club into first-place in the National League Central. The last time the Reds led their division this late in the season was 1999.
Braves honor Glavine
ATLANTA — The Atlanta Braves honored pitcher Tom Glavine by retiring his uniform number Friday before their game against the San Francisco Giants.
Glavine’s No. 47 was placed beside former teammate Greg Maddux’s No. 31 on the Turner Field facade in left field during a 15-minute pregame ceremony. Maddux’s number was retired last year.
Ilitch: Leyland, Dombrowski safe
DETROIT —Detroit Tigers owner Mike Ilitch didn’t hesitate Friday when asked if he still stands by his baseball management team. He said that both general manager Dave Dombrowski and manager Jim Leyland will return in 2011.
Though disappointed with yet another second-half swoon, Ilitch said he still believes the foundation is in place for the Tigers to become consistent playoff contenders, beginning with the 2011 season.
“(This season) is very disappointing,” Ilitch said, “(but) I’m staying with Dave and I’m staying with our manager. I feel that we’re going to move forward.”
Bonds trial set for March
SAN FRANCISCO — Baseball’s all-time home run leader, Barry Bonds, will stand trial on federal perjury charges in March.
Bonds’ legal team, federal prosecutors and U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston agreed during a brief hearing Friday to begin the trial March 21.
Bonds’ initial February 2009 trial date was delayed at the last minute when prosecutors appealed the judge’s ruling excluding vital evidence. The prosecutors ultimately lost that appeal and have decided to go ahead with the trial anyway.
The former Pittsburgh Pirate and San Francisco Giant has pleaded not guilty to charges he lied to a grand jury in December 2003 when he denied knowingly taking performance-enhancing drugs.
Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana underwent surgery Friday to repair the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee. He will be sidelined until spring training. … The Tampa Bay Rays placed first baseman Carlos Pena on the 15-day disabled list Friday, retroactive to Aug. 1. Pena has not played since Saturday, when he felt something pop in his right foot as he ran the bases. The injury was diagnosed as a slightly torn ligament. … Toronto pitcher Jesse Litsch will undergo season-ending surgery on his right hip next week and is expected to need 4-6 months to recover. … The Milwaukee Brewers put center fielder Carlos Gomez on the 15-day disabled list with a concussion after he was hit by a pitch in Chicago on Monday. … San Diego right-hander Chris Young will throw a bullpen session today, opening the possibility that he will be able to pitch again this season. Young, who underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason, made just one start before going on the disabled list April 7 with a strained shoulder.