Feds meet with Mets shortstop
New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes said yesterday at Port St. Lucie, Fla., he met with federal investigators last week regarding a Canadian doctor accused of selling an unapproved drug.
Dr. Anthony Galea is facing four charges in his country related to the drug known as Actovegin, which is extracted from calf's blood and used for healing. His assistant also has been charged in the U.S. for having HGH and another drug while crossing the border in September.
Galea is known for using a blood-spinning technique — platelet-rich plasma therapy — designed to speed recovery from injuries. Besides Reyes, he also has treated Tiger Woods and several other professional athletes.
"They just asked me basically how I met the guy and stuff like that and what he put in my body," Reyes said. "I explained to them what he (was) doing. ... I don't worry about anything. I didn't do anything wrong."
SI.com reported Saturday night that federal officials have told several athletes to expect grand jury subpoenas in the case. The Web site cited three anonymous sources familiar with the investigation.
Reyes, who missed much of last season with right leg problems, said he spent five days in Toronto in September and was treated by Galea three times during the stay. The shortstop was asked by investigators if he used HGH.
"They asked me if he injected me with that. I say 'No,' " Reyes said. "What we do there, basically, he took my blood out, put it in some machines, spin it out and put it back in my leg. So I explained to them that."
TWO CANDIDATES LIKELY TO BATTLE FOR LEADOFF SPOT
Mike Scioscia downplayed the offseason losses of several key players on the Los Angeles Angels.
One spot stands out, though: leadoff hitter.
Chone Figgins left Los Angeles for Seattle in the offseason, and Scioscia has a big hole to fill. But the manager thinks the player who bats first does not have to be a copy of the speedy Figgins.
"We talk a lot about this," Scioscia said yesterday at Tempe, Ariz. "I don't think it's just a leadoff hitter, you can talk about anybody that's going to be in a table-setter position ... you have to get on base."
Figgins did just that. His .395 on-base percentage was the 11th best in the majors. He also had 42 stolen bases.
Earlier this spring, Scioscia referred to Erick Aybar (.353 on-base percentage) and utility infielder Maicer Izturis (.343 on-base) as "exciting" choices available to him for the vacant spot in the order.
PITCHER JENNINGS DECIDES NOT TO WASTE MUCH TIME
Jason Jennings and Brett Tomko agreed to minor league deals with Oakland on Saturday, and less than 24 hours later Jennings was getting ready to play catch at A's camp in Phoenix.
Also, Ben Sheets threw live batting practice for the first time and impressed the coaching staff with his velocity.
"He threw the first pitch right by somebody," A's manager Bob Geren said.
Tomko, who finished the season with Oakland last year, will continue to rehab an irritated nerve in his right arm that ended his 2009 season prematurely. He'll report to the minor league camp and is expected to be ready to pitch by May.
Jennings, the 2002 NL Rookie of the Year, pitched for the Texas Rangers last year.
"I packed a couple of suitcases last night and caught a 7 a.m. flight (from Dallas) this morning," Jennings said. "It's been crazy. I've been working out at home trying to keep up with everybody else in spring training waiting for an opportunity."
MANAGER SAYS BORBON WILL START IN CENTER, HIT LEADOFF
Texas manager Ron Washington said the center field and leadoff starting jobs are Julio Borbon's to lose.
"For me, Borbon is in the same position that (shortstop) Elvis Andrus was last year," Washington said yesterday at Surprise, Ariz. "It's up to us to keep him relaxed and let him be who he is."
Borbon made his debut with the Rangers last season and hit .312 in 46 games. The 23-year-old entered this spring as the leading candidate to replace Marlon Byrd, who signed with the Chicago Cubs in the offseason.
Last season, Borbon was a meager 2 for 15 against lefties in the limited opportunities he was given.