BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The baseball season is over for the Texas Rangers' Jose Canseco. That much he acknowledged yesterday after a third doctor concluded that he has torn the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.
But even after a four-hour exam by Dr. James R. Andrews, Canseco wasn't ready to commit to surgery.
"I'm going to spend a day or two deciding whether or not to have the surgery," Canseco said. "There has been a good recovery rate with this type of injury, but there is always the possibility that this is a career-ending injury.
"Anything can go wrong during an operation. I could die in the middle of it, or I could have a bad reaction to the anesthesia. These are all things that must be considered."
To correct the injury, Canseco will need a tendon transplant from his wrist to his elbow. It will take seven to 12 months to rehabilitate the elbow, which means Canseco could miss spring training or the start of the 1994 season.
If Canseco decides to have the surgery, Dr. Frank Jobe is scheduled to perform the operation July 9 in Los Angeles.
Canseco injured his elbow during a ninth-inning relief pitching appearance against Boston in a 15-1 loss May 29. He said he felt a twinge of pain in the elbow after his second pitch but decided to remain in the game.
Canseco refuses to solely blame his pitching appearance for his injury. And despite reports from the Associated Press that he is contemplating retirement, Canseco said he was looking forward to the future.
"I'm a very positive person," he said. "A freakish thing happened to my arm, and it's up to me to take care of it. It's a little too early to talk about retirement. But if my baseball career did end, I have some other things I can fall back on. My life isn't built entirely around baseball."
OLIVER CAN'T DODGE KNIFE
CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Reds catcher Joe Oliver went one-on-one with a butcher knife. The gauze encasing a 12-stitch wound on his right forearm is testimony to who won.
"I was emptying the dishwasher," he said. "I set the silverware holder up on the counter top. It started to slide off and I bumped it with my right forearm to keep it up there."
Bad move. The knife opened a long gash in his arm about 1 1/2 inches deep. It took seven stitches on the outside and five inside to close it. Oliver says he might be able to resume catching in three or four days.
"The specialist said my first `operation' was a success," said Oliver. "I didn't cut into anything but muscle. I asked him if he was going to shave my arm. He said, `Why? You didn't.' "
INDIANS LOGO DRAWS CRITICISM
CLEVELAND - The reaction was mixed over the Cleveland Indians' decision to keep their grinning "Chief Wahoo" logo when the team moves to the new Gateway Stadium in 1994.
"We are very happy, very excited about this," said Sarah Norman of the Save Our Chief group, which collected 10,000 signatures asking the Indians to keep the logo.
On the other hand, American Indian groups who have lobbied for years to drop the beet-red, wide-eyed logo, say it is a racially insensitive caricature.
"The logo is still insulting," said Clark Hosick, executive director of the North American Indian Cultural Center, a nonprofit social service organization in Akron.
Hosick said the Indians' name and logo encouraged stereotypical comments, such as "the Indians scalped" another team.
"By doing away with the logo, hopefully some of this would disappear," Hosick said.
-- Kelly Gruber's future with the California Angels grew dim when doctors recommended the veteran third baseman be placed on the disabled list again. Gruber has two bulging disks in his neck and hasn't shaken the effects of off-season shoulder surgery.
-- Florida's Junior Felix will accept his second assignment to Edmonton, the Marlins' Class AAA affiliate, and report there Monday, his agent said.
-- Bob Gebhard, Colorado Rockies general manager, said he was surveying balls hit at Mile High Stadium to determine if there is reason to raise the wire atop the 14-foot left-field fence for the 1994 season. Major league rules prohibit any in-season alterations to the dimensions of a ballpark.
Compiled from Dallas Morning News, Cincinnati Enquirer, Knight-Ridder Newspapers, Florida Today and Associated Press.