A-Rod talks with officials
Alex Rodriguez met with three officials from Major League Baseball and told them he didn't receive performance-enhancing drugs from a Canadian doctor under investigation by federal and Canadian authorities.
Rodriguez met Thursday in the Tampa, Fla., area with Dan Mullin, baseball's vice president of investigations; Victor Burgos, who works in Mullin's department; and Dan Halem, a senior vice president in baseball's labor relations department.
The New York Yankees third baseman was accompanied by lawyers James E. Sharp and Jay Reisinger. Details, including Rodriguez's denial, were disclosed by a person familiar with the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Canadian doctor, Anthony Galea, told The Associated Press last month that he only prescribed anti-inflammatories to Rodriguez. Galea said he treated the slugger after he had hip surgery in March 2009.
"It went well. I cooperated," Rodriguez said yesterday at the Yankees' spring training complex in Tampa. "They were very happy."
Rodriguez was expected to first meet with federal agents about Galea, who faces four charges in Canada related to human growth hormone and Actovegin, before speaking with baseball officials.
Other major leaguers, including the Mets' Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, have been contacted by federal investigators about Galea. They have said they did not receive HGH from Galea.
Galea's case developed from the arrest of his assistant last fall, who was stopped at the U.S.-Canadian border and accused of trying to smuggle HGH into the United States. Soon after, authorities raided Galea's clinic in Toronto.
EX-ORIOLE CUELLER DEAD AT AGE 72
Mike Cuellar, a crafty left-hander from Cuba whose darting screwball made him a World Series champion and Cy Young winner with the Baltimore Orioles, died yesterday. He was 72.
The Orioles confirmed Cuellar's death, but did not release other details.
A four-time All-Star, Cuellar was 185-130 overall with a 3.14 ERA. He was voted into the Orioles' Hall of Fame.
"He sure was an ace," Hall of Fame teammate Brooks Robinson told the AP in a telephone interview last night.
Cuellar joined the Orioles for the 1969 season and that year became the first Baltimore pitcher to win the AL Cy Young Award, sharing the honor with Detroit's Denny McLain. Cuellar went 23-11 with five shutouts.
Cuellar helped pitch Baltimore to three straight World Series from 1969-71. He finished off that run by teaming with Jim Palmer, Dave McNally and Pat Dobson to become the only staff other than the 1920 Chicago White Sox with a quartet of 20-game winners.
Cuellar pitched for Cincinnati, St. Louis and Houston prior to his stint in Baltimore.
MINNESOTA PLAYS AT TARGET FIELD
The Minnesota Twins ventured into the great outdoors yesterday, opening Target Field for a full house of gawking fans — even managing to save their first rainout for another day.
Matt Holliday and the St. Louis Cardinals left with an 8-4 victory in the exhibition game, but the customers didn't care about that. They were too busy admiring the $545 million open-air ballpark, which has replaced the Metrodome as the home of the Twins.
Steady rain fell throughout the morning and early afternoon, but it stopped two hours before the first pitch.
"The best part," 12-year-old Calvin Dauner said, "is that it's outside."
The crowd was announced at 32,995, not including 6,500 complimentary tickets given to construction workers and other people who helped build the limestone-lined facility.
Twins right fielder Michael Cuddyer came to the dugout about an hour before the game to check on the field.
"It doesn't even feel like it's ours," Cuddyer said. "It feels like we're just in for a series."
Rangers: Scott Feldman, who in less than a year has gone from long reliever to opening day starter, agreed with Texas to a three-year contract worth nearly $14 million. The 27-year-old Feldman went 17-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 31 starts and three relief appearances.
More Twins: Minnesota has named right-hander Jon Rauch as closer. Rauch had 17 saves for the Nationals in 2008, his only prior experience as a closer. He's replacing four-time All-Star Joe Nathan, who is out for the season following elbow surgery.
Giants: Catcher Buster Posey, one of San Francisco's top prospects, has been optioned to Triple-A Fresno. Posey, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 draft, batted .321 with one homer and nine RBIs during spring training.