Monday, February 16, 2009
Alex Rodriguez has called Sports Illustrated's Selena Roberts to apologize for critical comments he made during an ESPN interview.
Roberts was co-author of the Feb. 7 article on SI's Web site that reported he was on a list of 104 players who tested positive for steroids during baseball's anonymous 2003 survey. Rodriguez told ESPN two days later that he had used banned substances from 2001 to 2003 while playing for Texas.
"I know this lady from Sports Illustrated, Selena Roberts, is trying to throw things out there that in high school I tried steroids. I mean, that's the biggest bunch of baloney I've ever heard in my life," he told ESPN, adding that "this lady is coming out with all these allegations, all these lies."
Roberts said yesterday that Rodriguez called her last Wednesday. She didn't want to comment on the call until Rodriguez holds a news conference in Tampa after arriving at spring training tomorrow.
Roberts is writing a book "A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez," due for publication by HarperCollins on April 14.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi plans to attend the news conference to show his support.
"I think it shows the unity of the club, and I think that's real important," Girardi said.
· ORIOLES: Because Koji Uehara represents Baltimore's first foray into the Asian market and is penciled in as the team's No. 2 starter, he is one of the most important pitchers in camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla..
"I feel the environment seems easier than I thought. It's nice," Uehara said through an interpreter. "Obviously, I have to perform on the mound, and that's the most important thing. But after I do what I do on the mound, the social aspect comes in."
The Orioles signed the 33-year-old from Japan to a two-year contract last month. He's projected to start behind Jeremy Guthrie.
· MARINERS: In Peoria, Ariz., Erik Bedard declared himself fine after he threw for 12 minutes in the bullpen in his first work off a mound in front of team officials since season-ending surgery on his throwing shoulder last September.
"It was normal, because I've been throwing bullpens at home," Bedard said of his 35-pitch workout.
· PHILLIES: Kyle Kendrick isn't the same gullible guy who thought he was traded to a Japanese team last year.
The 24-year-old pitcher has more legitimate concerns this spring than worrying about pranks. He's trying to earn a spot in the starting rotation. Despite winning 21 games his first two seasons in the majors, Kendrick entered camp in Clearwater, Fla., in a four-man race for the No. 5 starter job.
So far, he's the front-runner ahead of veteran Chan Ho Park, rookie J.A. Happ and prospect Carlos Carrasco.
"For me, he's the leading guy going in because of what he's done for two years," pitching coach Rich Dubee said.
In other Phillies news, utilityman Miguel Cairo signed a minor league contract with the club yesterday and will get a chance to earn a roster spot in spring training.
· TWINS: Catcher Joe Mauer will be limited as camp opens today in Fort Myers, Fla.
Mauer, who won his second batting title last season, had surgery Dec. 22 to remove a blockage from one of his kidneys. Mauer said he hoped to be ready by Opening Day.