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Alex Rodriguez, MLB officials to meet Sunday in Tampa area

GOING, GOING, GONE: The Phillies part ways with Adam Eaton, who went 14-18 with a 6.10 ERA in 51 games.

Associated Press

GOING, GOING, GONE: The Phillies part ways with Adam Eaton, who went 14-18 with a 6.10 ERA in 51 games.

Yankees 3B baseman Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to meet with Major League Baseball officials Sunday to discuss his admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001-03 while with the Rangers.

MLB wants to speak with Rodriguez about security issues involving a trainer from the Dominican Republic and the cousin the three-time MVP said injected him with a banned substance called "boli."

The meeting will be in the Tampa area, where the Yankees hold spring training, and is intended to be nondisciplinary in nature. Rodriguez will be accompanied by a personal lawyer and representative of the players association.

Manager Joe Girardi said that Rodriguez will play in spring training games today and Sunday. Rodriguez then is scheduled to join the Dominican Republic national team to prepare for the World Baseball Classic.

Game notes: The Yankees left most of their regulars in Tampa and lost 5-4 to the Twins in Fort Myers. 3B Justin Leone homered off Scott Baker, the Twins' planned opening day starter. Brett Gardner, competing with Melky Cabrera for the centerfield job, had two hits, a walk and stole two bases. Cabrera, playing left, was 0-for-3. … Starter Ian Kennedy worked two scoreless innings, striking out three and walking one. He gave up one hit.

Medical updates: Closer Mariano Rivera, who had right shoulder surgery in October, made 20 pitches on level ground. "Very good," said Rivera, who is expected to throw off a mound next week and be ready for opening day. … DH Hideki Matsui (right knee surgery) could make his spring training debut Tuesday. He ran the bases, shagged fly balls and took batting practice.

Bernie's cameo: Former OF Bernie Williams, 40, worked out for the last time with his old team and now joins Puerto Rico's squad for the World Baseball Classic. The former All-Star hasn't ruled out playing again in the majors, but it will depend on his WBC performance.

Phillies: Eaton out

Adam Eaton's stay with the Phillies has ended as the team released the right-hander, who is owed $9 million.

"I don't think upset is the right word," said Eaton, 31. "Underachieve? Yeah.

"The expectations for both sides coming in were unrealized. One was achieved last year, but not in the way we thought.

Eaton was 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 2007, his first season after agreeing to a $24.5 million, three-year contract as a free agent. He won the fifth starter's spot in the spring last year but was 3-8 with a 5.71 ERA in mid July and accepted a minor-league assignment after the All-Star break. He finished 4-8 with a 5.80 ERA and a .310 opponents' batting average in 19 starts and two relief appearances, then was left off the postseason roster.

"It's kind of late to make him a bullpen guy," manager Charlie Manuel said.

GM Ruben Amaro said it was best for Eaton to go now while he has time to try to catch on elsewhere.

"I thought when we signed the deal, that I would be an integral part in any positives on the field," Eaton said. "For the most part, it didn't happen that way."

To the Classic: CF Shane Victorino was added to the U.S. roster for the World Baseball Classic. He replaces Cleveland's Grady Sizemore (left groin soreness).

Game notes: The Phillies are 0-3 in spring training and have scored a total of seven runs after their 10-3 loss to the Reds in Sarasota. … Andrew Carpenter, who is trying to earn a starting job, failed to retire any of his six batters he faced, walking three and allowing three hits and four earned runs. "What he did wrong was he didn't get nobody out," Manuel said. "… He just had a rough day. He'll get to go out there again."

Jays: Clement returns

DUNEDIN — On Matt Clement's second pitch, 1B Randy Ruiz speared Curtis Granderson's hot shot. Clement sprinted to first, barely beating the runner and catching Ruiz's off-target throw.

"Okay. Welcome back," Clement said. "Get your blood and adrenaline going."

Absent from the majors since his shoulder injury in 2006, the former All-Star pitched two innings in the Blue Jays' 6-4 win over the visiting Tigers.

"So to start (Friday) in this kind of atmosphere, it has been a while, and it felt good to do it," the 34-year-old said. "I think the most positive thing: My arm felt good. Part of this process of coming back is when you know your arm feels good and you can finally get to pitching like you want to pitch."

Clement and LHP Mike Maroth, also coming back from shoulder surgery, are among the candidates for the two available rotation spots.

Also: 3B Scott Rolen was supposed to play today and Sunday but asked manager Cito Gaston to start him Friday. Rolen wanted to escape serving barbecue and signing autographs today so he could spend more time with his daughter. … Roy Halladay will make his first spring start today against the Braves. Closer B.J. Ryan is scheduled to pitch one inning after Halladay goes two.

The Teams

Blue Jays vs. Braves

1:05 today, Dunedin

Yankees vs. Twins

1:15 today, Tampa

Blue Jays: Dunedin Stadium, 373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin. Tickets: Call toll-free 1-888-525-5297 or (727) 733-0429; or online at bluejays.com

Phillies: Bright House Field, 601 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater. Tickets: Call (727) 467-4457 or online at phillies.com

Yankees: George M. Steinbrenner Field, 1 Steinbrenner Drive, Tampa. Tickets: Call (813) 879-2244 or online at yankees.com

Alex Rodriguez, MLB officials to meet Sunday in Tampa area 02/27/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 27, 2009 9:12pm]

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