- The Washington Times - Friday, August 5, 2005

The Washington Nationals’ anemic offense lost some potential punch when slugger Jose Guillen was scratched from last night’s lineup against the Los Angeles Dodgers with a sore left shoulder.

Guillen, who is the Nationals’ top power hitter with 19 home runs and 58 RBI, has been plagued by a sore shoulder for the past month but has played through the pain. Yesterday, though, it became unbearable, and he had to shut himself down. Guillen is listed as day-to-day.

“It’s really, really sore,” Guillen said. “It’s just dead. It just doesn’t feel like my shoulder is there.”

The right fielder, has played hurt this season with such injuries as a swollen left ankle and a sore rib cage. Guillen originally injured his shoulder sliding home June26 against the Toronto Blue Jays at RFK Stadium.

Guillen would not guarantee he would be back in the lineup for tonight’s series opener against the San Diego Padres at RFK. Guillen said he had an MRI taken on his shoulder but referred all questions to Nationals trainer Tim Abraham.

Guillen has received cortisone injections to alleviate the pain, but his shoulder is not responding. Rookie Ryan Church started for Guillen in right last night.

“I’ve got to learn to shut it down when it’s really sore,” said Guillen, who is hitting .299 with a .506 slugging percentage. “When was the last time I hit a really long fly ball? I don’t know.”

Meanwhile, the Nationals were without catcher Brian Schneider for the second straight game. An MRI taken Monday on Schneider’s right shoulder revealed bursitis, and he is listed as day-to-day.

Armas OK

Right-hander Tony Armas Jr. has missed the better part of the last two seasons recovering from rotator cuff surgery he had on May 23, 2003.

When Armas took himself out of Wednesday’s game after the fifth inning complaining of a sore right shoulder, everyone feared the worst.

However, Armas is not expected to miss his next scheduled turn Tuesday in Houston, but could be pushed back because of Monday’s off day.

Judge to hear petition

Three landowners in the Nationals’ planned stadium site in Southeast will make their case today before a U.S. District Judge for a preliminary injunction to prevent the city’s acquisition of their property.

District officials have begun efforts to acquire 33 pieces of property in the intended stadium footprint, located near the Anacostia River waterfront, with a stated goal of having all the needed land acquired and rezoned by Dec. 31. But the plaintiffs, a collective of commercial and residential property owners, argue the city’s efforts to gain their land would trample upon their civil rights. The lawsuit, in effect, seeks to locate the stadium elsewhere in the city.

The plaintiffs also claim the land acquisition costs for the ballpark will far exceed the $165 million cap established by the D.C. Council.

District officials argue the lawsuit is not within the jurisdiction of the federal court and that the stadium effort easily fits within the eminent domain and land acquisition statues recently expanded upon by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Progress on sale

A Major League Baseball committee overseeing the sale of the Nationals will meet via conference call next week to plot its next steps in the process. MLB intends to select the team’s new owner by the end of the month.

Industry sources said a likely scenario is for MLB to set a desired sales price around $450 million and choose among the bidding groups hitting that number.



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