Roger Clemens' former personal trainer filed paperwork preserving the right to sue the seven-time Cy Young Award winner in New York.

Brian McNamee, who told federal investigators that Clemens used performance-enhancing drugs, contends that the pitcher defamed him after McNamee spoke to investigators for former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell. The summons, filed last week in Queens Supreme Court, preserves McNamee's right to sue, a lawyer for McNamee said yesterday.

Clemens filed a defamation suit against McNamee in January after the trainer said in the Mitchell Report that he regularly injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens told a congressional committee under oath he had never taken steroids.


The team won't pursue free-agent outfielder Manny Ramirez, formerly with the Dodgers, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday.

Mariners retain Burke.

Backup catcher Jamie Burke, 37, has returned to Seattle after becoming a free agent, agreeing to a minor-league contract.

Burke appeared in 48 games with Seattle last season and batted .261. He became a free agent when he was not tendered a contract by the Dec. 11 deadline.

Cheap seats.

Bleacher seats at the Yankees' new stadium for exhibition openers against the Chicago Cubs on April 3 and 4 will cost 25 cents, and grandstand tickets will be $1.10. That matches the prices for the opener of the original Yankee Stadium against Boston on April 18, 1923.