Raines signs minor league contract with Marlins

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Tim Raines, hoping to play his 23rd season in the major leagues, signed a minor league contract Monday with the Florida Marlins and was invited to spring training.

Raines, 42, came back from a shoulder injury last season and batted .303 with one home run and nine RBIs in 51 games for Montreal and Baltimore.

"He did a terrific job coming off the bench in a pinch-hit role," said Marlins general manager Larry Beinfest, who was with Montreal last year. "He's a great guy to have in the clubhouse and a veteran presence."

The Marlins will look at the seven-time All-Star outfielder mostly as a pinch-hitter, Beinfest said.

Twins prospects injured

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Two Minnesota Twins minor league players on their way to spring training were seriously injured in a one-car crash early Monday in Tennessee, the team said.

Josh Johnson, a catcher with the Twins' rookie level team in the Gulf Coast League last season, and Jeff Randazzo, a left-handed pitcher for Class A Quad City, were taken to a hospital near Chattanooga.

The players were in critical but stable condition Monday afternoon. The accident occurred around 2 a.m.

Johnson was driving, no alcohol was involved and both players were wearing seat belts, said Lanning Tucker, a trainer for the Gulf Coast League Twins, who was relaying information provided to him by the hospital.

Alfonseca faces lawsuit

MELBOURNE, Fla. -- Florida Marlins closer Antonio Alfonseca missed the start of spring training because he's being sued in the Dominican Republic by a woman who claims he touched her inappropriately, said the pitcher's agent, Juan Iglesias.

The woman seeks $187,500 in damages. Iglesias said Alfonseca told him no criminal charges were filed and the pitcher refused to settle the suit because her claim was untrue.

Alfonseca surrendered his passport, as required by defendants in such cases, Iglesias said.

-- From wire reports

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