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David Ortiz calls for stiffer steroid penalties

Boston Red Sox slugger wants players who test positive for steroids to be suspended from baseball for a year.

February 17, 2009|Associated Press

David Ortiz wants players who test positive for steroids to be suspended from baseball for a year instead of the current 50-game penalty for a first offense.

Taking players to court, though, for cases involving use of the substances before players were subject to penalty is not the way to clean up the game, the Boston Red Sox designated hitter said Monday.

"I would suggest everybody get tested, not random, everybody," he said. "You go team by team. You test everybody three, four times a year and that's about it."

And if a player tests positive for steroids?

"Ban them for the whole year," the slugger said.

No Pujols in Classic

St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols said he would not play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic because of insurance issues.

Pujols, who batted .357 with 37 home runs and 116 runs batted in last season, said he is 100% physically "but the insurance does not want to cover" him to play.

Pujols had elbow surgery in October.

Etc.

Outfielder Ryan Ludwick and the Cardinals agreed to a $3.7-million, one-year contract and avoided an arbitration hearing that was scheduled for today. Ludwick was paid $421,000 last year, when he batted .299 with 37 homers and 113 RBIs. . . . Houston Astros left-hander Mike Hampton returned to Houston from training camp in Kissimmee, Fla., after a physical turned up a minor irregularity in his heartbeat. Hampton was to expected to have a procedure to correct the heartbeat. The Astros hope to have him back in camp Thursday. . . . Greg Maddux, who retired in December after winning 355 games in a 23-year career, has agreed to become a spring training instructor for the San Diego Padres.

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