August 2005 - Baltimore Orioles Wiretap
Sosa Goes Back To DL
Baltimore Orioles slugger Sammy Sosa has been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a problem with the big toe on his right foot. "He's still in a lot of pain with his foot," said interim manager Sam Perlozzo. "He felt like he was going to need some time (off) with it." Sosa has not played since going hitless in a win over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. He has had only five hits in his last 50 at-bats. Acquired from the Chicago Cubs, the 36-year-old outfielder has been a major disappointment this season.
Orioles Attempt To Get Rid Of Ponson
When Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro returned from a suspension for steroid use earlier this month, Sidney Ponson wrapped his arm around his pensive teammate and offered his support. Palmeiro returned the favor Friday -- in a figurative sense. One day after Ponson was arrested for drunken driving -- his second such charge this year -- Palmeiro said, "I'm not going to sit here and crucify him. The one thing I'm going to do is stand by him. He supported me and I'm going to do the same for him. We all make mistakes; we're here to help him." Palmeiro couldn't embrace Ponson because the pitcher was granted a day off by the Orioles, who are still trying to figure out the best course of action for dealing with the right-hander's mounting alcohol-related problems. Orioles vice presidents Jim Beattie and Mike Flanagan, who met with owner Peter Angelos on Thursday after Ponson was arrested, declined to talk with the media for a second straight day Friday. "They're still assessing the situation, gathering facts and everything else," Orioles spokesman Bill Stetka said. "It would be premature to say anything at this time."
Wells Believes Raffy Should Take Lie Detector Test
Boston Red Sox left-hander David Wells said Thursday that he believes there are major-league players probably still using steroids. "There's no question in my mind that there's a lot of guys out there still that are probably on them," Wells said in an interview on WSKO in Providence. "I mean, they're just playing Russian Roulette." Wells said he has been tested for steroids three times this year "and, quite frankly, I'm starting to lose my cool." He added that the testers should "go to the guys who have been losing weight dramatically, are not as big as they were last year, listen to their excuses" and test them. Wells also offered his take on Rafael Palmeiro, saying a lie detector test may be the best method to show when the Baltimore Orioles first baseman used steroids. He said Palmeiro's accomplishments should be removed from baseball's record books if he used them for a while. "The best way to solve it is probably a lie detector test and put him on it and say, 'How long have you been doing it, when did you take them, for what part of your career?' " Wells said. "If he's been doing it a while, then go ahead and erase [his accomplishments]. It's a shame to do it, but you know you have to do it."
Ponson Arrested On A Drunken-Driving Charge
Sidney Ponson was arrested early Thursday on a drunken-driving charge, the latest legal problem for the Baltimore Orioles pitcher. Maryland Transportation Authority Police arrested him on Interstate 95, just south of Baltimore, said Cpl. Pamela Thorne, a spokeswoman for the agency. She said Ponson was stopped for tailgating and was subsequently charged with driving under the influence and driving while impaired. The Orioles did not immediately return a call. Ponson charged in January with driving under the influence in Florida, and the case has not yet been resolved. That arrest came weeks after he spent 11 days in an Aruban jail for a Christmas Day fight at a beach. He apologized for the fight and reached a settlement that involved community service and a charitable contribution. Ponson has been on the disabled list with a calf strain and hasn't pitched since Aug. 7. An MRI on Wednesday found a torn thumb ligament, and he was expected to be sidelined at least three more weeks.
Baldwin Going Back To Baltimore
A little more than a month after being waived by Baltimore, James Baldwin was claimed off waivers from the Texas Rangers by the Orioles on Monday. The 34-year-old righthander began the season in the Orioles' organization with Class AAA Ottawa of the International League. Baldwin had his contract purchased by Baltimore on May 21 and posted a 1.61 ERA in 12 relief appearances before being designated for assignment on July 18. The Rangers claimed Baldwin three days later. He made just eight appearances with Texas, going 0-2 with a 5.19 ERA, before being designated for assignment last Tuesday.
Palmeiro Failed To Explain How Steroids Entered His System
Rafael Palmeiro failed to explain how a steroid entered his system when he went before a baseball panel several months ago to plead his case, The Sun reported Friday. The Baltimore Orioles star shed little light during his long statement on why and how he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, three sources familiar with the transcript told the newspaper. The sources were interviewed on condition of anonymity because they wanted to wait until Congress finishes its review. In August, Palmeiro said he never knowingly used steroids. Through agent Arn Tellem he has said the positive drug test will be regarded differently once certain information is disclosed. ``There is another side to this story, and Raffy will tell it soon,'' Tellem said. ``I hope that the public will wait to make a final judgment about Rafael until they hear his story in its entirety.'' Palmeiro, who was not in the starting lineup for Friday night's game in Cleveland because of a sprained left ankle, said he doesn't know when he'll be able to speak out publicly about his ordeal. ``I have no idea,'' he said. ``The thing with Congress is going on and when that's over with then maybe I'll be able to do it.''
Orioles May Not Want Palmeiro To Return
The Baltimore Orioles have not contacted first baseman Rafael Palmeiro regarding his return from a 10-day suspension for a positive steroid test, according to a baseball source. Palmeiro is eligible to play beginning Thursday against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in Baltimore, and agent Arn Tellem said Sunday that his client intends to return. But it's becoming increasingly clear that some in the organization would rather he not. The Orioles are 11 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the American League East and appear out of the playoff chase. "I don't see how he can be that dumb to return," one source close to the Orioles said. "I will guess that he's going to get resounding boos, and that's in Baltimore, a city you could call civil. I don't think he'll get a good reception at Yankee Stadium or Fenway Park. I don't see how he's going to play at Yankee Stadium." Owner Peter Angelos and Vice President of Baseball Operations Mike Flanagan did not return calls seeking comment on Palmeiro. "We're not going to comment at all," Orioles Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Jim Beattie said. Because Palmeiro -- hitting .280 with 18 home runs -- almost certainly won't be brought back next season, the Orioles could choose to call up first baseman Walter Young, hitting .289 with 12 home runs at Class AAA Ottawa.
Marlins Wanted Soriano
No one knows for sure how serious the Rangers were about moving Alfonso Soriano, but two sources with knowledge of the talks insist the Marlins made a strong push for him the weekend before the deadline. According to one source, the Marlins "were a contender" and the deal "definitely could have happened," but only if they had been able to spin off pitcher Sidney Ponson in a three-way deal with the Orioles. The Marlins and Orioles would have eaten the bulk of Ponson's $10 million salary next season, but Baltimore owner Peter Angelos quashed the plan. The problem? The Orioles weren't willing to accept A.J. Burnett and Mike Lowell in a deal unless they could get Burnett signed long-term and dump Ponson at the same time. Soriano, making $7.5 million this year and looking at an arbitration-fed raise into the $11 million range this winter, would have played left for the Marlins. Under one version discussed, they would have put second baseman Luis Castillo and a couple of prospects into the deal and gone with prospective free agent Damion Easley as the starter at second for the final two months.
Union May File Grievance For Leaking Drug Name
The players' union says Major League Baseball may be responsible for leaking the name of the drug for which Rafael Palmeiro tested positive and might file a grievance, the New York Daily News reported Saturday. The union will discuss the issue with the commissioner's office Monday, Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the players' association, told the newspaper. MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told the News the commissioner's office was unaware of a possible grievance. MLB has not specified what drug the test found, but The New York Times and The Associated Press, each citing a person with knowledge of the sport's drug-testing program, said it was stanozolol. A call to the union office by the AP on Saturday was not immediately returned. Union spokesman Greg Bouris called the leak a "very disturbing matter," but would not comment further in an e-mail to the AP.
The Baltimore Orioles fired manager Lee Mazzilli on Thursday with the team mired in an eight-game losing streak and still reeling from Rafael Palmeiro's positive drug test. The Orioles have made bench coach Sam Perlozzo the interim manager for the remainder of the season. The announcement was made just two hours before Baltimore's game at Anaheim. Coming into Thursday, the Orioles were 51-56 and 10? games behind first-place Boston in the AL East. The Orioles finished 78-84 in 2004, Mazzilli's first season, and this year appeared on course to ending a run of seven straight losing seasons. Baltimore got off a solid start and on April 23 gained sole possession of first place in the AL East, ahead of the defending champion Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.
Raffy To Release Information About Drug Test To Congress
Rafael Palmeiro has agreed to release information about his failed drug test to Congress, including the results, dates of the tests and other relevant details.
Report: Palmeiro Had Stanozolol In System
Rafael Palmeiro's positive drug test involved the potent anabolic steroid stanozolol, a person in baseball with direct knowledge of the sport's drug-testing program told the NY Times.
Palmeiro Busted For Steroids
Rafael Palmeiro was suspended 10 days for violating the MLB's steroids policy Monday, nearly five months after the Baltimore Orioles first baseman told Congress that he never used steroids.