Rafael Palmeiro will not be prosecuted on perjury charges after lawmakers said Thursday that there isn't enough evidence to prove he lied when he told Congress under oath that he had "never used steroids" -- six weeks before failing a steroid test.
The investigation did not conclude whether the former Baltimore Oriole slugger had ever used performance-enhancing substances prior to his testimony before the House Government Reform Committee.
"We couldn't find any evidence of steroid use prior to his testimony," Chairman Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) said in releasing a 44-page report. "That's not a finding of innocence, but it's a finding that we could not substantiate perjury."
At issue was Palmeiro's statement at a March 17 hearing: "I have never used steroids. Period." On May 4, he failed a Major League Baseball drug test, coming up positive for an anabolic steroid. In August, shortly after baseball suspended Palmeiro for 10 days, Davis said Congress would look into whether the player committed perjury.
"We have a responsibility, an obligation, to investigate it, and that's what we've done," Davis said.
Chris Carpenter of the St. Louis Cardinals won the NL Cy Young Award, capping a satisfying comeback from shoulder surgery that jeopardized his career only two years ago.
After going 21-5 with a 2.83 earned-run average, Carpenter received 19 of 32 first-place votes and finished with 132 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Assn. of America. He beat out Florida left-hander Dontrelle Willis, becoming the first Cardinal pitcher to win the award since Bob Gibson in 1970.
"I can't believe I won," Carpenter said. "Two years ago, I didn't know if I was ever going to pitch again."
Willis, who was 22-10 with a 2.63 ERA, was listed first on 11 ballots, second on 18 and third on three for 112 points. Seven-time winner Roger Clemens received the other two first-place votes and came in a distant third at age 43. Clemens led the majors with a 1.87 ERA, but a lack of run support from his NL champion Houston Astros limited him to a 13-8 record.
Center fielder Rocco Baldelli signed a six-year deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays that could be worth more than $32 million. Baldelli, 24, is viewed as one of the keys to the team's future, even though he sat out last season because of knee and elbow injuries. He hit .289 with 11 homers and 78 runs batted in as a rookie in 2003 and batted .280 with 16 homers in 2004.
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Cy for Carpenter
A look at the NL Cy Young Award voting with first-, second- and third-place votes and total points on a 5-3-1 basis:
*--* PLAYER 1ST 2ND 3RD TOT Chris Carpenter, St.L 19 12 1 132 Dontrelle Willis, Fla. 11 18 3 112 Roger Clemens, Hou. 2 2 24 40 Roy Oswalt, Hou. - - 2 2 Chad Cordero, Was. - - 1 1 Andy Pettitte, Hou. - - 1 1