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Selig: Rodriguez 'shamed the game'

February 13, 2009|Bill Shaikin, Lance Pugmire and Dylan Hernandez | Staff and Wire Reports

Commissioner Bud Selig scolded Alex Rodriguez on Thursday but imposed no discipline beyond a public reprimand.

In a statement, Selig said he was "saddened" by revelations that Rodriguez had used performance-enhancing drugs, and that while the slugger "deserves credit for publicly confronting the issue," users such as him had "shamed the game."

Selig directed most of his anger at the players' association in the wake of reported allegations that Gene Orza, the union's chief operating officer, tipped off Rodriguez and another player to upcoming drug tests. Orza has denied tipping any player to a test.

Selig's said his office tried to introduce steroid testing during labor negotiations in 1994-95 but was "rebuffed by the union." The union finally agreed in 2002, the statement said, "but only after an extremely contentious standoff."

The statement also notes that Sen. George Mitchell "received no cooperation from the players' association and virtually none from the players" in his probe of the steroid era, commissioned by Selig in 2006.

-- Bill Shaikin

Clemens loses ruling

A federal judge in Houston dismissed most of Roger Clemens' defamation lawsuit against his former trainer, ruling that Brian McNamee had immunity when he told baseball's Mitchell Commission that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner used performance-enhancing drugs.

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison declared that McNamee's statements were protected because they came at the request of federal authorities who wanted him to repeat what he had already told them: that he injected Clemens with steroids in 1998, 2000 and 2001, and with human growth hormone in 2000.

However, Ellison ruled Clemens can pursue litigation over statements McNamee made to Clemens' former Yankees' teammate, Andy Pettitte, and a Sports Illustrated reporter about the pitcher's use of steroids and HGH.

-- Lance Pugmire

Ramirez cancels

Manny Ramirez won't be making a promotional appearance in Florida on Monday for DirecTV, which released a statement explaining it was postponed because of "the unpredictable schedule of Manny's current status and the realistic possibility of impromptu developments that would require immediate travel or contract-related obligations."

What's not clear is whether a deal is actually imminent or, more likely, that agent Scott Boras wants to protect Ramirez from reporters asking about his contract status.

Boras wrote in an e-mail that he and Ramirez are "moving forward" in their negotiations but offered no other details. Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti said he and Boras had a lengthy conversation Monday but that they haven't spoken since.

-- Dylan Hernandez

Etc.

Right-hander Braden Looper and the Milwaukee Brewers agreed to a one-year contract with an option for 2010 that could make the deal worth $12.25 million. . . . Second baseman Dan Uggla won his arbitration case against the Florida Marlins and was awarded $5.35 million. The Marlins had offered $4.4 million. . . . Outfielder Rick Ankiel and the St. Louis Cardinals agreed to a one-year deal worth $2,825,000, avoiding arbitration.

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