Baseball notebook

Rodriguez sorry for reporter comments

Associated Press / February 16, 2009
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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 website that reported Rodriguez 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 2001-03 while playing for the Rangers.

"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 . . . this lady is coming out with all these allegations, all these lies," he told ESPN.

Roberts said yesterday Rodriguez called her last Wednesday. She didn't want to comment on the call until Rodriguez holds a news conference in Tampa tomorrow.

She is writing a book "A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez," due out in April.

Also yesterday, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he plans to attend Rodriguez's news conference to show his support for the three-time American League MVP. Several teammates also have told the team they want to be there.

"I think it shows the unity of the club, and I think that's real important," Girardi said. "I think it's important that teammates back teammates, and they're there for each other, and they know during difficult times they can lean on each other."

Pudge weighs in
Ivan Rodriguez, who indicated he may soon sign with the Marlins, Astros, or Mets, said last night that "only God knows" if his name is on the list of 104 players who tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey. His former Rangers teammate, Jose Canseco, has alleged he injected steroids into Pudge . . . Twins catcher Joe Mauer will be limited as spring training camp opens today in Fort Myers, Fla., with the team's first official workout for pitchers and catchers. Mauer, who won his second batting title last season, had surgery Dec. 22 to remove a blockage from one of his kidneys. "I still have all of my parts intact," Mauer said. "It was something I've had since birth." He said he hopes to be ready by Opening Day . . . Lefthander Erik Bedard declared himself fine after he threw for 12 minutes in the bullpen in Peoria, Ariz., his first work off a mound in front of Mariner eyes since having season-ending surgery on his throwing shoulder in September.

Pierre seeks place
Juan Pierre still wants to know if he has a role with the Dodgers. Pierre's situation is in limbo until Manny Ramírez signs with a team. Pierre arrived at spring training in Phoenix yesterday, showing up three days early and feeling the same as he did at the end of last season - frustrated. "I kind of feel like I'm in the way around here," he said. "Last year I wasn't helping the team or me. It was torture for me. All I want is a chance to compete." A career .300 hitter, Pierre's 429 steals are tops among active players . . . Utilityman Miguel Cairo signed a minor league contract with the Phillies and will get a chance to earn a roster spot in spring training. Cairo is a career .266 hitter in 13 seasons. The former Yankee spent last season with the Mariners, hitting .249 with 23 RBIs.

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