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Associated Press

DENVER - Weary of the month-long saga, Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Luis Gonzalez chewed gum in front of television cameras on Thursday, then put the gum in a bottle for mailing to an Arizona radio station.

The public chewing was intended to end any controversy over the authenticity of another piece of Gonzo-chewed gum being sold at auction on the Internet.

Prior to Thursday night's Arizona-Colorado game, Gonzalez chewed gum near the D-backs dugout at Coors Field while the media watched and cameras whirred. He placed the gum in an empty plastic water bottle, which was tagged with the date, 4-11-02. It was then to be sent to Tucson radio station KRQ.

KRQ disc jockey Johnjay Van Es said the station would auction the new gum off itself, bypassing the Web site operated by Wood Lake, Minn., memorabilia store owner Jason Gabbert, who said he collected the original gum at a spring training game in Tucson.

After hints that Gonzalez might have to provide DNA samples, the player decided to chew in front of witnesses and send the gum to the radio station.

"Whoever bids on it, they can have it," he said. "I'm through with it. This is it. This is not a once-a-week bubble gum show."

The proceeds from the auction will go to Lakeside, Minn., High School, which was to benefit from the original auction.

"We want to get it over with but we don't want the school to lose anything," Van Es said.

Bids for the gum offered by Gabbert had climbed to about $3,400 by Thursday, with the auction scheduled to end Monday evening, but there have been questions about the gum's authenticity.Juan Gonzalez placed on DL ARLINGTON, Texas - Juan Gonzalez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with a torn muscle in his right hand, the latest injury blow for the struggling Texas Rangers.

Gonzalez was injured when he was jammed on a swing in Oakland a week ago. He played the next two games but - following a two-day break because of a rainout and a scheduled day off - pulled himself out of Tuesday night's game against the A's after his first at-bat.

"It's surprising because it's the first time in my career that my right hand has bothered me," said Gonzalez, a two-time AL MVP. "It's part of the game, and I'm not going to put my head down. I've had a lot of injuries before and come back and put up good numbers."Pitcher Mulder leaves A's game ARLINGTON, Texas - Oakland starter Mark Mulder left Thursday's game against Texas after four innings because of tightness in his left forearm.

Mulder, a 21-game winner last year, allowed four runs and six hits in four innings against the Rangers. He struck out four and walked three before being replaced by Jeff Tam to the start the fifth with Texas leading 4-0.

Mulder won his first two starts for the Athletics this season.

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