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MLB allowed Alex Rodriguez to use testosterone during 2007 season, book says 07.03.14 at 11:31 am ET
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With 54 home runs and 156 RBIs, Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez looked like a cut above the rest of baseball during the 2007 season, capturing his third MVP award and earning a restructured 10-year, $275 million contract with New York in the offseason.

However, according to a new book, Rodriguez may have gotten an extra boost during his 2007 campaign.

The book, “€œBlood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis and the Quest to End Baseball’€™s Steroid Era,” alleges€ Rodriguez applied for and was given a therapeutic use exemption to use testosterone by the man who oversaw MLB’€™s drug-testing program, Dr. Bryan W. Smith, in 2007.

Rodriguez also allegedly was given another exemption by Smith to use the drug Clomid, which is commonly used by individuals to increase their testosterone production after cycling off the use of steroids.

After excerpts from the book — which was written by Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts — were published by Sports Illustrated on Wednesday, the league office said in a statement that it did not know that Rodriguez was given the green light to use these drugs in 2007 and 2008.

“All decisions regarding whether a player shall receive a therapeutic use exemption under the joint drug program are made by the independent program administrator in consultation with outside medical experts, with no input by either the office of the commissioner or the players association,” the statement read.

According to one baseball official, Rodriguez had a doctor relay to Smith that Rodriguez suffered from a medical condition known as hypogonadism, which happens when the body does not generate enough natural testosterone.

Despite the fact that he gave Rodriguez two controversial exemptions, Smith was dismissed as the MLB’€™s drug program overseer in 2012 after the players union complained that he made it too difficult for players to receive exemptions. Smith still serves as the head of drug-testing program in the minor leagues.

This is obviously not the first time that Rodriguez has been connected to performance-enhancing drugs. In 2009 Rodriguez admitted to using steroids during a three-year period beginning in 2001 while playing for the Rangers.

The three-time MVP is suspended for the entire 2014 MLB season following his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal.

Read More: alex rodriguez, MLB, testosterone, Yankees
Report: Alex Rodriguez was set to retire in wake of PED suspension before taking ex-con’s advice 05.19.14 at 10:56 am ET
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In the wake of a historic suspension sentence for his role in the Biogenesis PED scandal, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez privately informed advisers last summer that he was prepared to retire from baseball, according to the New York Daily News.

“€œHe had been talking about retirement because of injuries. Given his prior involvement [with doping], he knew he would be a target for additional testing,”€ a source told the Daily News. “€œThere was no way he could use and play again.”€

While it seemed set in stone that the troubled slugger was ready to hang up his spikes last season, multiple sources told the Daily News that Rodriguez changed his mind and decided to fight MLB’€™s pending suspension after consulting with Desiree Perez, a Manhattan nightclub manager with close ties to rapper Jay-Z.

While Perez is not affiliated with Roc Nation Sports, Jay-Z’s sports agency that includes clients such as Robinson Cano and Kevin Durant, sources say that Perez is a major influence within the organization.

“She’€™s directly involved with the athletes,”€ one source said. “She has a lot of power.”

According to a source, Perez, a convicted felon who was arrested in 1994 for intent to distribute over 35 kilograms of cocaine, accused Rodriguez of letting MLB and Yankees organization remove him from baseball and urged the three-time MVP to fight his pending suspension.

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: alex rodriguez, Desiree Perez, Jay-Z, MLB
Tigers announce halt to contract negotiations with P Max Scherzer 03.24.14 at 12:33 pm ET
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The Tigers announced Sunday that they have ended contract negotiations with pitcher Max Scherzer and his agent, Scott Boras, until the end of the season. The reigning American League Cy Young award winner will play out the 2014 season on a one-year deal worth $15,525,000 million.

The Tigers announced that Scherzer rejected their last offer. ESPN’€™s Jayson Stark was told by a source that the offer averaged just under Justin Verlander‘€™s yearly average of $25.7 million.

“The Detroit Tigers have made a substantial, long-term contract extension offer to Max Scherzer that would have placed him among the highest-paid pitchers in baseball, and the offer was rejected,” the team said in a statement.

Boras responded late Sunday by saying the Tigers rejected a deal that he presented to the team.

Max Scherzer made a substantial long-term contract extension offer to the Detroit Tigers that would have placed him among the highest-paid pitchers in baseball, and the offer was rejected by Detroit,” Boras said. “Max is very happy with the city of Detroit, the fans and his teammates, and we will continue negotiating with the Tigers at season’s end.”

Scherzer told Yahoo! Sports Sunday that he wasn’t concerned that a long-term deal wasn’t struck, and was getting ready for the season.

“We weren’t able to get a deal done, but honestly that doesn’t change anything for me on my end,” Scherzer said. “I’m here to win. I’m here to try to get a ring for [owner Mike Ilitch]. That’s what it’s all about now. That’s the No. 1 focus of it.”

In 2013, Scherzer pitched in 214 1/3 innings, the most of his career, over 32 games. He went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA, striking out 240 batters while giving up 18 home runs. Over his career he has a 73-45 record and an ERA of 3.67.

Read More: Detroit Tigers, Max Scherzer, MLB, Scott Boras
Report: Jay-Z holds meeting with Mets regarding Robinson Cano 11.19.13 at 9:30 am ET
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Robinson Cano likely will be back in New York for the 2014 MLB season, but there’s a chance that the five-time All Star may not be wearing pinstripes.

Two sources told the New York Post that rapper/agent Jay-Z and other members of Cano’s agency team held a “secret meeting” with the Mets on Monday night at a high-scale Manhattan hotel.

Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, general manager Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco were in attendance for the meeting, which reportedly was initiated by Jay-Z and agents Brodie Van Wagenen and Juan Perez. Cano was not present for the meeting.

Cano, the top prize of the 2014 free agent class, has made it clear that if he cannot get a sizable payday from the Yankees, for whom he has played since 2005, he will look elsewhere. The Yankees and Cano are said to be almost $150 million apart on a new deal, as Cano is seeking a 10-year, $310 million contract while the Yankees responded with an offer of seven years and between $161 million and $168 million.

Jay-Z has made it known that his client is taking marketing as a serious factor in his contract negotiations, making a return to New York, whether it be the Yankees or Mets, seem very likely given the seemingly endless amount of marketing opportunities that New York has to offer.

A potential move to Queens still seems unlikely for Cano, as Alderson stated last week that he couldn’t see the Mets signing a player to a nine-figure deal this offseason. The Mets also already have a solid option at second base in Daniel Murphy, further complicating the situation.

Read More: free agent, Jay-Z, MLB, New York Mets
Rays OF Wil Myers, Marlins P Jose Fernandez win MLB Rookie of the Year awards 11.12.13 at 11:01 am ET
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The two MLB franchises in Florida now have the bragging rights of having the two best rookies in the league this season, as Rays outfielder Wil Myers was named the AL Rookie of the Year while Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez nabbed NL Rookie of the Year honors.

Traded from the Royals to Tampa Bay in a Dec. 9 deal that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City, Myers spent almost half of the 2013 season in the minor leagues before being called up on June 17. Despite playing in only 88 games this year, Myers hit .293 with 13 home runs and 53 RBIs.

“Honestly, when I was called up that didn’t even cross my mind. As the season went on I could see I would have a chance,” Myers said. “To be able to win is just a huge honor and I’m very excited about it.”

The 22-year-old outfielder received 23 out of 30 first-place votes, besting Tigers (and former Red Sox) shortstop Jose Iglesias and Tampa pitcher Chris Archer.

Myers had an immediate impact with Tampa Bay this year, as the Rays posted a sluggish 36-33 record before Myers’ arrival but then went 56-38 after his call-up. The Rays now have won the AL Rookie of the Year award three out of the last six years (Jeremy Hellickson in 2011 and Evan Longoria in ’08).

Drafted 14th overall in the 2011 MLB draft, Fernandez was thrust into the Marlins starting rotation at the end of spring training despite having not pitched above the Single-A level in his brief baseball career. Just 20 years old at the start of the season, Fernandez was the youngest starting pitcher on a MLB roster this season.

However, Fernandez did not look like a 20-year-old rookie at all this year, as the Cuban went 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 172 2/3 innings. Fernandez, a finalist for the 2013 Cy Young Award, finished ahead of Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.

AL and NL Manager of the Year will be announced Tuesday, the Cy Young Awards on Wednesday and the MVPs on Thursday.

Read More: Jose Fernandez, Jose Iglesias, Miami Marlins, MLB
MLB takes Alex Rodriguez’s lawsuit to federal court 10.08.13 at 1:16 pm ET
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The drama surrounding Alex Rodriguez‘s lawsuit against Major League Baseball has taken yet another turn, as the case is being moved from state to federal court.

MLB filed a notice of removal on Monday, stating that Rodriguez’s claims that MLB commissioner Bud Selig has been trying to tarnish the three-time MVP’s career and force him out of baseball is a declaration that should be dealt with in federal court.

Rodriguez and his legal team have the opportunity to file a motion requesting that the case be pushed back to the state level. In response to MLB’s motion, Joseph Tacopina, one of Rodriguez’s lawyers, said that the league “knows that these state law claims properly belong where they were filed, in the New York state court.”

This soap opera between A-Rod and MLB started last Thursday, when Rodriguez and the Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance against the league in response to MLB’s Aug. 5 decision to suspend Rodriguez for 211 games for allegedly violating the league’s drug policy.

The grievance is currently being heard by arbitrator Fredric Horowitz. A decision is unlikely to made made until later this winter.

Rodriguez’s lawsuit claims that MLB and Selig went after the Yankees slugger in order to improve their image, which was damaged over the years due to their supposed inaction regarding performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.

Rodriguez made news on Friday, as he filed a lawsuit against a Yankees team doctor and a New York hospital after claiming that they mishandled his hip injury during the 2012 playoffs. Rodriguez only hit .120 during those playoffs before undergoing left hip surgery in January.

Read More: Alex, MLB, Rodriguez, Suspension
Angels ace Jered Weaver to miss 4-6 weeks with broken arm 04.10.13 at 9:06 am ET
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The Angels will be missing their ace, Jered Weaver, for at least a month after Weaver broke a bone in his left elbow.

On Sunday against the Rangers, Weaver jammed his left (non-throwing) arm while dodging a line drive back to the mound. He left the game early, and while the team originally thought he had only strained his elbow, an MRI on Monday revealed a fracture expected to keep him out four to six weeks.

“This is all new to me,” Weaver said. “I’ve never broken anything before, and didn’t really know how to take the news. It kind of was a shock at first, and now you’ve just got to play the waiting game, I guess.”

Weaver has been the anchor of the Angels’ rotation for years, starting at least 28 games in each of the last six seasons. He finished second in the AL Cy Young voting in 2011 and third in 2012. However, injuries plagued him last season, with lower-back pain and tendinitis in his shoulder causing him to miss several starts.

“It’s extremely difficult to lose your ace, and Jered has been that for a long time here,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “He’s a pivotal player for us. I feel like in some way the silver lining is it was his left arm, and there’s more of a short-term definition to the injury than long-term. It’s not as if we just found out he was out for the year or something along those lines. It’s his left arm, and that’s the positive here.”

Read More: jered weaver, los angeles angels, MLB,
MLB examining ways to expand instant replay 03.06.13 at 10:45 am ET
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Major League Baseball is examining ways to expand its use of instant replay by the 2014 season, and MLB executive vice president Joe Torre said Tuesday that league officials will visit Miami during the World Baseball Classic and spring training games to try out different methods and camera angles.

“We’re going to increase replay next year. We just don’t know how we’re going to go about it yet,” Torre said before managing the U.S. team for the World Baseball Classic in an exhibition against the White Sox. “I know we’re using a number of venues to see what make sense, and it’s really making sense with the rhythm of the game as a priority.”

Commissioner Bud Selig has discussed adding video reviews for trapped balls and fair/foul calls. Now, the league is also evaluating whether or not to review close plays on the basepaths and other controversial calls. However, Torre said reviewing balls and strikes isn’t on the table.

“I think balls and strikes, you have to have something to yell about,” Torre said. “I don’t want to take the yelling out of the thing. That’s part of the color.”

League officials also are examining the ways the new system could be implemented, including the possibility of managers challenging calls they disagree with.

“I don’t think it would be a pure challenge system,” Torre said. “We’ve stayed away from that being part of the game. The manager already makes so many decisions, and to drop another rock or two in his pocket, I think it’s a little bit much.”

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Felix Hernandez reportedly negotiating new long-term deal with Mariners 02.08.13 at 8:45 am ET
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Felix Hernandez and the Mariners are working on a deal that would make Hernandez the highest-paid pitcher in baseball, according to reports. The deal has not been completed, but the expectation is that it would be for $175 million over seven years.

Hernandez’s $25 million per year average would tie him for the second-highest yearly pay in baseball with Josh Hamilton and Ryan Howard, behind Alex Rodriguez‘s $27.5 million. It would surpass CC Sabathia‘s original seven-year, $161 million deal with the Yankees.

The 26-year-old Hernandez signed a $78 million, five year-contract in January 2010. He is still under that contract for the next two years and was set to earn $20 million this year and $20.5 million in 2014. The new contract would supersede that.

Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young winner, has a 3.22 ERA in eight seasons playing for a struggling Mariners team.

Read More: MLB, Seattle Mariners,
Carl Pavano ruptures spleen while shoveling snow 01.25.13 at 2:06 pm ET
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Just as he appeared close to signing with the Rockies, Carl Pavano hurt both himself and his chances to find a new team this offseason when he slipped in his driveway and ruptured his spleen.

Pavano was shoveling snow outside his home in Vermont when he fell and injured himself, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. He’s expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks.

The Mets also has been reported to be interested in Pavano, but the Rockies were his main suitors at the time of the fall. Pavano did not pitch after June 1 last season due to soreness in his shoulder caused by a bone bruise in his humerus. In 2010 and 2011, he posted ERAs of 3.75 and 4.30 with the Twins.

Read More: Carl Pavano, MLB, Rumor Mill,