Report: Friday may be D-Day for MLB

             Image: Alex Rodriguez (Robert Deutsch, USA Today Sports)

Alex Rodriguez is reportedly facing the threat of a lifetime ban from baseball.


            Updated Jul 31, 2013 7:49 PM ET


Major League Baseball has told the union which players it intends to suspend in its drug investigation and which ones will receive lengthier penalties for their roles in the Biogenesis case, two people familiar with the talks told The Associated Press.


These athletes flouted the rules. Who’s in this hall of shame?

The sides are trying to reach as many agreements as possible that would avoid grievance hearings, and talks could push back an announcement until Friday.

The meeting between MLB and the union on Tuesday, first reported by the New York Daily News, signaled the final stretch of talks. MLB hopes to announce the penalties for all players involved at the same time, both people said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcements were authorized.

Three-time MVP Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees stands to receive the longest suspension. USA Today, citing two sources, reported Wednesday that commissioner Bud Selig is prepared to issue a lifetime suspension for A-Rod.

While 50 games is the standard for a first offense, the stiffer penalties for some players are tied to other alleged violations, including not being truthful to MLB investigators.

Three 2013 All-Stars could face bans: Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz, San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera and Detroit shortstop Jhonny Peralta. In a sign Peralta’s suspension might be imminent, the Tigers acquired shortstop Jose Iglesias from Boston on Tuesday night as part of a three-way trade with the Chicago White Sox.

Another 2013 All-Star, Oakland pitcher Bartolo Colon, was suspended last year following a positive testosterone test, as were Toronto outfielder Melky Cabrera and San Diego catcher Yasmani Grandal. They won’t receive additional discipline for that violation, the two people said.

Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli and Seattle catcher Jesus Montero also have been linked in media reports to Biogenesis, a closed Florida anti-aging clinic that was accused by Miami New Times in January of distributing banned performing-enhancing drugs.

Melky Cabrera was the 2012 All-Star game MVP while with San Francisco and Colon won the 2005 AL Cy Young Award with the Los Angeles Angels.

Players who don’t reach agreements can ask the players’ association to file grievances, which would lead to hearings before arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. Discipline for first offenders under the drug agreement usually is not announced until after the penalty is upheld, but there is an exception when the conduct leading to the discipline already has been made public.

In addition, MLB may try to suspend Rodriguez under its collective bargaining agreement instead of its drug rules, which would lead to the suspension starting before the appeal.

Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun was the first player to reach an agreement with MLB. The 2011 NL MVP accepted a season-ending 65-game suspension last week. Braun tested positive for elevated testosterone in October 2011 but a 50-game suspension was overturned the following February by an arbitrator who ruled Braun’s urine sample was handled improperly.

Rodriguez faces the harshest penalty. The Yankees expected him to be accused of recruiting other athletes for the clinic, attempting to obstruct MLB’s investigation, and not being truthful with MLB in the past when he discussed his relationship with Dr. Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty two years ago to a federal charge of bringing unapproved drugs into the United States from Canada.

“A-Rod was my teammate in New York. I’m glad he was my teammate,” retired pitcher Roger Clemens said Tuesday in Boston, where he was at Fenway Park to mark the 25th anniversary of manager Joe Morgan’s team that won the 1988 AL East title.

“I did things to make him feel comfortable. I did that for all of my teammates,” Clemens said. “I think I was a pretty solid teammate.”

The seven-time Cy Young Award winner was acquitted last year of federal charges he lied to Congress when he said he didn’t take steroids or human growth hormone.

Clemens would not give his thoughts on MLB’s Biogenesis investigation.

“I’ve got my own feelings on particular people in MLB, you know, how they approached my situation,” he said. “I don’t know about it, and I don’t care about it, to tell you the truth.”


Dodgers acquire catcher Drew Butera from the Twins in thrilling last minute deadline deal

By                                on Jul 31 2013, 6:00p          3

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Just when it looked like the trade deadline would pass without a blockbuster deal, the Dodgers swoop in and nab Drew Butera from the Twins, shaking the very foundations of the game.

This one was bound to go down to the wire. After days of rumors swirling around him, Twins catcher Drew Butera has finally been traded to the Dodgers, according to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports. Butera nets the Twins the mighty haul of a player to be named later or cash- their choice, Jayson Stark of ESPN reports.


Ok. So this isn’t exactly the last-minute, franchise-altering, blockbuster deal that fans (or writers, really) were hoping for. There were never any rumors swirling around Butera and there is no chance that the player to be named later will be Clayton Kershaw or Yasiel Puig. This is, as Brown tweeted, an organizational move giving the Dodgers insurance at catcher. Nothing more.

In that way, it was the perfect final deal for this year’s deadline, which has made the ending of Monty Python and the Holy Grail seem downright satisfying. Sure Matt Garza and Jake Peavy got traded. The Cubs finally unloaded Alfonso Soriano and that Ian Kennedy deal was a nice little swap of interesting talent for a clear-cut need, but twenty minutes out from the deadline, Bud Norris was the biggest name actually be seriously discussed. Bud. Norris.

This reaction care of the Bleacher Report, pretty well sums up the general feeling among those covering the game today-



As a result, this inncoent trade of a backup catcher for someone without a name (poor guy, stuck being nameless must be hard) took on added significance as a way to mock the hype that all of us worked so hard to create-



Mariano Rivera met with approximately 20 longtime Dodgers employees before the New York Yankees took on the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday.

One to save: Mariano Rivera speaks to longtime Dodgers employees

By Steve Dilbeck |
7:40 p.m.

He walked into applause and still left with yet an even more appreciative audience. Mariano Rivera is a Yankee, which makes him a natural enemy to anyone who cares about the Dodgers.

Yet there he was, meeting privately with approximately 20 longtime Dodgers employees before Wednesday’s game, expressing his gratitude for their being there, answering questions, posing for individual photographs and handing each a signed baseball.

“It’s a privilege and honor to be here,” he told the small group. “Thank you, I know you all have busy schedules.

“But it’s important to me to be able to say thank you. We always see all the people on the field, but not those behind the scenes. I just wanted to be able to say thank you for what you’ve done for baseball.”

Rivera, universally considered the greatest closer in baseball history, is retiring after this season. Yet, in addition to the usual gifts presented by opposing teams, Rivera has made a point…