McGwire undergoes operation on knee

Mark McGwire, the St Louis Cardinals batter who was limited to pinch-hitting duties for the final month of the season and the play-offs, has undergone surgery on his right knee. McGwire had the diseased portion of his patella tendon removed during the procedure.

Mark McGwire, the St Louis Cardinals batter who was limited to pinch-hitting duties for the final month of the season and the play-offs, has undergone surgery on his right knee. McGwire had the diseased portion of his patella tendon removed during the procedure.

"Aside from the tendinitis, there were no other abnormalities," said the team physician, Dr George Paletta. "We were impressed by the overall condition of the knee, and the other structures within his right knee were normal."

The game's leading power hitter spent two months on the injured list and missed the All-Star Game. He returned on 8 September, but was only 5-for-15 with two home runs and four RBI down the stretch as the Cardinals took the National League Central Division title.

The fall-out from Game Two of the World Series final rumbled on yesterday as Major League Baseball opened an investigation into the incident involving the New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens, who hurled the barrel of a bat shattered by Mike Piazza at the New York Mets player during a fiery encounter which saw the Yankees take a 2-0 series lead on Sunday night. "We're having everybody look into it," said the baseball commissioner, Bud Selig.

Clemens was not ejected for throwing the barrel at Piazza, the umpires controversially concluding that the gesture was not deliberate. "He just picked up the bat and winged it," said the umpire crew chief, Ed Montague. "It was just an emotional deal that built over the months."

However, Sandy Alderson, the executive vice-president of baseball operations in the commissioners' office, said: "We're reviewing the situation and will take any appropriate action, if necessary."

In the past hitters have been penalised for throwing bats at pitchers, most notably Oakland's Bert Campaneris. He was suspended for the rest of the American League play-offs in 1972 after throwing his bat at the Detroit pitcher Lerrin LaGrow, who had hit him on an ankle with a pitch.

Any suspension would not start until next season, because the players' association would almost certainly appeal, delaying any penalty until after a hearing in front of Paul Beeston, baseball's chief operating officer. Lawyers would need time to prepare for a hearing.

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