Jim Bowden abruptly stepped down Sunday morning after four seasons as general manager of the Washington Nationals, leaving under the cloud of a federal investigation into the skimming of signing bonuses given to Latin American prospects.
He has maintained his innocence in the matter, but said Sunday, "I've become a distraction.
"It's an emotional decision. It saddens me. But I feel it's in the best interest of two of the things I love the most, and that's the Washington Nationals and baseball."
Seated at a table with Nationals President Stan Kasten before a small contingent of reporters and team officials, Bowden read from a prepared statement, sometimes deviating from the script as he struggled to contain his emotions.
No successor was immediately announced. Bowden met last year with FBI investigators looking into allegations of skimming of signing bonuses, and SI.com reported last weekend that Bowden's actions are being examined as far back as 1994, when he was GM of the Cincinnati Reds.
Alex Rodriguez met with Major League Baseball officials, who sought to interview the New York Yankees slugger about his admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003.
The commissioner's office released a statement saying Rodriguez was cooperative in a two-hour interview Sunday with officials from MLB's Department of Investigations and Labor Relations. No further details were revealed.
New York Mets ace Johan Santana said he was OK after throwing a bullpen session and the team decided against sending him to New York for an MRI exam on his left elbow.
Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan will not play for the U.S. in the World Baseball Classic because of soreness in his pitching shoulder.
Giants sign Bernard, Canty
The New York Giants gave new defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan a little more depth, signing former Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Rocky Bernard and Dallas Cowboys defensive end and Chris Canty.
Bernard signed a four-year, $16-million deal. Bernard, entering his eighth season, started 55 of 103 games with Seattle. Canty started every game for the Cowboys last season and finished with 37 tackles, three sacks and five passes batted down. Terms of his deal were not available.
The Seattle Seahawks and free-agent defensive tackle Colin Cole have agreed to a five-year, $21.4-million contract.
Cole, 28, played the last five seasons for the Green Bay Packers, making eight starts.
Receiver Michael Clayton signed a five-year contract worth nearly $26 million to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Clayton, the 2004 NFL offensive rookie of the year, who has struggled since his first season, agreed to the contract two days after becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Fish wins title
at Delray Beach
Mardy Fish became the first top-seeded player in the 17-year history of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships to win the title, beating Evgeny Korolev, 7-5, 6-3, at Delray Beach, Fla.
U.S. ends drought in bobsled
American Steven Holcomb and his crew of Justin Olsen, Steve Mesler and Curtis Tomasevicz won the four-man bobsled title at the world championships in Lake Placid, N.Y., the first gold medal for the United States at worlds in 50 years.
Holcomb finished with a four-run time of 3 minutes 36.61 seconds to beat defending champion Andre Lange of Germany by 0.97 of a second.
Lindsey Vonn of the United States won her fourth straight women's World Cup super-G race at Bansko, Bulgaria, increasing her lead in the overall standings to nearly 400 points.
The American won in 1 minute 14.49 seconds, a day after clinching the downhill title. Fabienne Suter of Switzerland was second, 0.58 of a second behind, and Tina Maze of Slovenia was third, 0.91 back.