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McGwire 'saddened' by brother's actions

Monkey is gone
Associated Press / February 26, 2010

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Mark McGwire was saddened to learn his estranged brother was writing a book that chronicled their use of performance-enhancing drugs. He was so upset by the breach of trust that he thinks reconciliation is out of the question.

“I don’t plan on ever seeing him again,’’ Big Mac said yesterday. They haven’t spoken since 2002.

Jay McGwire, the youngest of the five brothers and Mark’s junior by more than six years, lived with Mark and was a frequent clubhouse visitor during McGwire’s time in Oakland. His book, “Mark and Me: Mark McGwire and the Truth Behind Baseball’s Worst-Kept Secret,’’ is scheduled for publication Monday by Triumph Books.

“You try to be a good person, you try to take care of somebody, be a good brother,’’ said the St. Louis Cardinals hitting coach, trailing off. “It’s sort of sad. It’s a sad day for my family. I don’t know how a family member could do something like that.’’

McGwire used the word “sad’’ seven times to describe the book in his eight-minute session with the media.

The brothers fell out after Jay McGwire’s stepson, Eric, tickled Mark and caused Mark to spill coffee on himself. Mark then swatted Eric on the backside. Jay’s wife, Francine, then refused to attend Mark’s wedding.

A-Rod relieved
Alex Rodriguez felt a huge relief after helping the Yankees win the World Series. The All-Star third baseman said a “humongous gorilla came off my back.’’

“Now I just have an opportunity to come out and play baseball and have fun,’’ he said.

“Really continue to focus on what I did in ’09. Divorced myself of personal achievements and really buy into the whole team concept of winning ballgames. What can I do today to help the team win? It was the greatest year of my baseball career.’’

Rodriguez spoke in the same tent where last year he addressed his past use of performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez said this year’s media session was much different.

“Looking back I thought it was a very important day,’’ Rodriguez said. “I hit rock bottom. I’ve done a lot of growing up and realized a lot of things. I wanted to focus on baseball and eliminating a lot of distractions. For the most part I think I’ve done that. Now it’s my responsibility to continue that.’’

Sidelined until May 8 last year after right hip surgery in early March, Rodriguez had 30 homers and 100 RBIs in 124 games.

Many fans singled out Rodriguez for the Yankees’ failure to win a championship in his first five seasons in New York.

Rodriguez said finally breaking through was “magical.’’

“I’ve never experienced - besides the birth of my two daughters - the feeling of winning a world championship in New York in the new stadium,’’ he said. “It’s something I’ll never forget.’’

“You just want to keep winning,’’ Rodriguez said. “It becomes an addiction.’’

Rodriguez thinks a new deal to keep shortstop Derek Jeter, who is entering the final season of a $189 million, 10-year contract, will be worked out. “Derek Jeter was born to be a Yankee and he was born to wear pinstripes,’’ Rodriguez said.

Hamilton day-to-day
Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton missed drills because of a sore left shoulder. He had X-rays on his shoulder yesterday and the results were negative. Hamilton, 29, was hurt when he dived for a ball during a popup drill Wednesday. He says he simply lost his balance. Hamilton, who was limited to 89 games last season by injuries, is listed as day-to-day.

Contract voided
The Rangers voided infielder Khalil Greene’s $750,000 one-year contract. Greene spent last season with St. Louis, missing 46 games in two stints on the disabled list due to social anxiety. The Rangers said Monday that a private matter, which they didn’t identify, prevented him from reporting to spring training. “This was not about a contract,’’ Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. “It’s about a player being well.’’ Daniels added called the move “the cleanest option right now’’ and said the Rangers will “stay in touch with Khalil.’’ . . . Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon Webb, the former Cy Young winner, is coming back from surgery on his right shoulder in August. He threw 45 pitches yesterday and called it another step forward.

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