BREWERS GUARANTEE FOUL BALLS: For $36, the Milwaukee Brewers will guarantee fans leave Miller Park with either a foul ball or a ball used during a game.

"One of the great thrills for a baseball fan is to leave the ballpark with a ball used during the game," Jim Bathey, assistant vice president in charge of ticket sales, said Wednesday. "The Guaranteed Foul Ball ticket ensures that fans will leave Miller Park with a special souvenir."

The tickets, in the outfield boxes at field level, come with a voucher that can be redeemed for a game-used baseball. The promotion begins with the Brewers' next home game, on June 6 against the Boston Red Sox.

Through 29 home dates, the Brewers are averaging 16,993, down more than 25 percent from last year.

MOEHLER OUT: Houston Astros right-hander Brian Moehler, on the disabled list since April 17, will undergo reconstructive elbow surgery Thursday and miss the rest of the season.

The surgery will be performed by Dr. James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala. Moehler met with Andrews on Wednesday to get a second opinion on his injury, diagnosed last week as a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament.

Before the game the Astros purchased the contract of right-hander Jonathan Johnson from Triple-A New Orleans. Johnson made his second career start, and first since 1998, against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Infielder Tripp Cromer was designated for assignment.

Moehler began the year as the Astros' fourth starter and is 0-0 with a 7.90 ERA in three starts. He allowed four home runs in 13 2-3 innings.

Moehler was 3-5 with a 4.86 ERA in 12 starts last year with the Tigers and Reds. He missed almost all of the 2001 season due to shoulder surgery.

Johnson, 28, was the ninth starter used by the Astros in the first 53 games. He was 4-3 with a 3.34 ERA in 10 starts at New Orleans.

The start was his first since he made his major league debut on Sept. 27, 1998 for the Texas Rangers, who chose him in the first round of the 1995 draft.

BAT BOYS SETTLE: Seven men who said they were molested as bat boys at the Boston Red Sox spring training camp settled their lawsuit against the team for an undisclosed amount.

The men were seeking more than $3 million in a 2001 federal lawsuit. The case was scheduled for trial in the fall, but U.S. District Court records said a settlement was reached and the case was dismissed in December.

Red Sox attorney Daniel Goldberg declined to comment on the case. Attorneys for the defendants could not immediately be reached for comment Wednesday. Court records say the terms of the settlement are confidential.

Former clubhouse manager Donald James Fitzpatrick pleaded guilty in May 2002 to reduced charges of attempted sexually battery on a child under 12 and paid four of the men $10,000 each in restitution.

He was sentenced to 15 years' probation and a 10-year suspended prison sentence.

Fitzpatrick was accused of hiring boys from Winter Haven to work at the Red Sox's spring training camp and molesting them, starting in the 1970s. The team moved from Winter Haven to Fort Myers in 1991.

Fitzpatrick retired in 1991 after a 21-year-career with the team.

The Red Sox have denied knowing of the abuse and said the team cooperated with the investigation.

WILLIAMS' SON CUT: John Henry Williams might be running out of options.

The son of Hall of Famer Ted Williams has been released by the Schaumburg Flyers of the independent Northern League and cleared waivers, the team said Wednesday.

He played in three exhibition games and was 0-for-7 with five strikeouts.

Williams, 34, played for the Boston Red Sox's lowest-level minor league team last summer. After two games, Williams broke a rib chasing a foul ball and was released. He was 0-for-6 in two games.

JOHNSON WON'T BUY EXPOS: Robert Johnson no longer plans to buy the Montreal Expos and move them to the Washington area, the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, told the newspaper he was too involved with the NBA expansion team in Charlotte he recently purchased. Johnson also said his partner in the baseball bid, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, would not pursue a team without him.

"It's particularly a lot to do at the pace baseball is moving," Johnson said. "If it was moving faster . . . I could perhaps be more aggressive in making things happen."

The other 29 clubs bought the Expos before the 2002 season from Jeffrey Loria for $120 million. Because the team has drawn poorly in recent years at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, baseball moved 22 of the Expos' 81 home games this season to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Northern Virginia; Portland, Ore.; and Washington, D.C., are trying to lure the Expos, but baseball wants financing in place for a ballpark before making a decision.