07/24/2002 2:41 pm ET
MLBeat: Bere rehab start postponed
Right-hander suffered setback during throwing session
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Cubs pitcher Jason Bere will not begin a rehab assignment this week because of a setback suffered during a throwing session Monday.
Bere, on the disabled list since June 27 because of a strained groin, was tentatively scheduled to start for one of the Cubs' minor league teams on Friday. That's been postponed.
"I aggravated it," Bere said Wednesday. "It wasn't ready. It's an annoying thing that doesn't go away. You want it to be strong enough and ready enough that in the course of throwing, it will get better."
But it isn't, and he will shut it down for the time being.
"It's a setback," he said. "That's about it."
Fortunately for the Cubs, Carlos Zambrano (2-2, 3.00 ERA) has done well subbing for Bere, who is 1-9 with a 5.18 ERA in 15 starts.
Labor talks: Cubs player representative Joe Girardi and team president and CEO Andy MacPhail have different views of the current labor negotiations. Girardi said he has talked to MacPhail, who is part of Major League Baseball's team, about the discussions.
"Andy and I talk a little bit," Girardi said. "I want to get a flavor of the meetings from both sides."
Girardi said reports that the players union had set a Sept. 16 strike date was "fabrication," pointing out that union chief Donald Fehr has not met with all of the teams. Girardi expects Fehr to talk to the Cubs in early August.
"I still believe there will be a deal done," Girardi said. "I think both sides want that for the health of baseball and the health of our country."
Is it the 11th hour yet?
"I still think it's about 3 o'clock," Girardi said.
Flash back: Tom Gordon has pitched in seven games since coming off the disabled list on July 2, and says he's closer and closer to feeling 100 percent. Gordon did not join the team until July because of a torn muscle in the back of his right shoulder discovered in Spring Training.
"Right now, I feel great," Gordon said. "The things I still need to iron out are my mechanics and location. Everything else has been great. The most important thing is that I'm healthy."
Because he's doing well, Gordon's name has surfaced in trade rumors. The Cubs have two closers in Gordon, who is two saves shy of 100 in his career, and Antonio Alfonseca, who was acquired the last week of Spring Training.
"You think about it," Gordon said of the rumors. "My family calls all the time. If it happens, it happens. I'd love to stay in Chicago."
Extra bases: LF Moises Alou returned to the lineup Wednesday. He has missed two games after being hit on the right elbow by a pitch on Sunday. "He's raring to go," interim manager Bruce Kimm said. ... The Phillies said they thought Vicente Padilla was tipping his pitches in Tuesday's game. "That's news to me," Kimm said. "I never heard anything about that." ... Angel Echevarria can play outfield and first base but on Wednesday he was catching before batting practice. Is he the third catcher on the team? "I'm more like the No. 17 guy," Echevarria said. "I'm only in in a dire, dire emergency."
FANTASY EDGE: Sammy Sosa may be fighting a little hitting slump but Fred McGriff has been hot since the All-Star break, batting .325. He has seven homers over his last 17 games.
Carrie Muskat covers the Cubs for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.