Cleveland Indians pitcher Kyle Denney won't complain about having to dress like a cheerleader again. The white go-go boots that went with the outfit might have prevented a bullet from seriously injuring his leg.
The rookie was hit in the right calf by a shot that came through the side of the Indians' bus in Kansas City, Mo., late Wednesday as the team traveled to the airport after a victory over the Royals. The bullet caused only a flesh wound, probably because of the tough leather of the knee-high boot, Denney and his trainers said.
All of Cleveland's rookies were decked out in outrageous outfits on the bus, part of a hazing ritual. An Oklahoma native, Denney said his teammates told him to dress as a USC cheerleader because the Sooners are ranked second behind Southern California in the Associated Press college football poll.
"I've never been so glad to have a USC thing on," Denney said yesterday at a news conference in Minneapolis, where the Indians traveled for a weekend series against the Twins.
Police in Kansas City had no suspects in the shooting, which happened as the bus traveled along a highway ramp.
Team trainers removed the bullet from Denney's leg while he was still on the bus, and he stayed overnight at a Kansas City hospital before rejoining his team.
Indians spokesman Bart Swain said there was momentary panic on the bus before teammates realized Denney wasn't seriously hurt. Denney, 27, is 1-2 with a 9.56 ERA in four starts with Cleveland.
Cardinals righthander Chris Carpenter was ruled out of the first round of the playoffs by manager Tony La Russa because of an arm injury. Carpenter, 15-5 with a 3.46 ERA, has been sidelined with nerve damage in his right biceps since Sept. 18. He had hoped to miss only one start . . . Peter Angelos could sell the Baltimore Orioles for almost $200 million more than he paid for the team 11 years ago under terms of a deal he is negotiating with Major League Baseball to compensate him for the Montreal Expos moving to Washington, the