Mariners RHP Ryan Franklin was suspended 10 days for violating his sport's steroids policy, the eighth major league player caught under tougher drug rules enacted this year.

Yesterday's announcement came one day after the Orioles' Rafael Palmeiro was suspended after testing positive for steroids.

Franklin said he has "no idea" how he tested positive.

"There's got to be a flaw in the system," he said before the Mariners played the Tigers in Detroit last night. "I have no clue. I tested in [early] May and again three weeks later. The first was positive, the second was negative."

The pitcher said he first was told of his positive test in May -- and "thought it was a joke" -- then appealed and appeared before two arbitration committees.

"I'm one of the guys who was supportive of strong testing," Franklin said. "I believe I got to the big leagues on God-given talent, and that's how I've stayed here. It's hard to swallow."

"I know deep in my heart that I have never done anything like that."

Franklin, 32, is 6-11 with a 4.61 ERA in 22 games, including 20 starts. He would not discuss what he tested positive for, but he did say that he took supplements he bought at a nutrition store. Franklin said he gave up all supplements after the positive test. After that, he said he tested negative.

Seattle called up RHPs Masao Kida and Jeff Harris from Class AAA Tacoma to take the roster spots of Franklin and reliever Jeff Nelson, who was placed on the bereavement list after his father-in-law's death.

* WILLIAMS DONE WITH YANKEES?: New York has decided not to pick up the $15 million club option for next season on CF Bernie Williams, a veteran of four World Series title teams.

The club had until Aug. 1 to exercise their option on the 36-year-old, who signed with the Yankees in 1985.

"I've talked to Bernie and I think he's comfortable with it," Yankees Manager Joe Torre said.

Williams wasn't surprised by the move, and he didn't rule out the possibility of returning to the only club he has ever played for.

"It's something they felt they had to do," said Williams, who signed a seven-year, $89.5 million contract after the 1998 season. "I'm still playing for this team and I'm going to do all I can to help this team win."

A five-time all-star, Williams holds the career postseason records for homers (22), RBI (79) and games played (115). He entered the season with a .301 career average, but is batting just .245 with seven homers and 39 RBI.

-- From News Services

"I'm one of the guys who was supportive of strong testing," said Seattle's Ryan Franklin. "It's hard to swallow."