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La Russa says Cards said 'no' on Bonds

Associated Press
MAKING FRIENDS: Boston manager Terry Francona chats with a young fan.

Associated Press MAKING FRIENDS: Boston manager Terry Francona chats with a young fan.

JUPITER — Cardinals manager Tony La Russa had interest in signing Barry Bonds the past two offseasons, but each time the team's front office decided against it.

La Russa, who was looking for a power bat to protect No.  3 hitter Albert Pujols each year, said he was told the asking price for the home run king was too high. This winter, La Russa said he dropped the issue after a discussion with new general manager John Mozeliak.

"It became moot as soon as I raised it and they said no," La Russa said. "Once it became apparent what the price tag was, I said we just can't, it doesn't make sense for our club."

The Cardinals will likely bat Troy Glaus in the cleanup spot behind Pujols. Glaus was acquired from the Blue Jays for disgruntled Scott Rolen.

Before going to management, La Russa said he polled his coaches on their interest in Bonds. He said some were in favor, some not.

Bonds remains a free agent while under federal indictment on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. The St. Petersburg Times has reported that the Rays have had internal discussions about whether to pursue Bonds.

CLEMENS CASE: A draft letter asking the Justice Department to investigate whether Roger Clemens made false statements to Congress has been written by House staffers, the New York Times reported on its Web site.

The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held the Feb.  13 hearing at which personal trainer Brian McNamee repeated his allegations that he injected Clemens with steroids and human growth hormone, and Clemens repeated his denials. Both men spoke under oath during depositions and at the hearing.

CASHMAN TALKS UPCOMING: Yankees senior vice president Hank Steinbrenner plans to talk about a new contract with general manager Brian Cashman before the season ends.

Cashman, in the final year of his contract, said shortly after arriving at spring training that he wanted to keep discussion of a new deal between himself and the Steinbrenner family.

"I want to concentrate on the season, and he does, too," Hank Steinbrenner said. "But during the course of the season, we will talk. It will just happen."

HAPPY RETURN: Shannon Stewart is more than glad to be back with the Blue Jays.

"This is where it all started for me," he said on his 34th birthday. "My best memories playing in the big leagues have been with Toronto."

The Blue Jays picked Stewart in the first round of the 1992 draft. He debuted in the majors three years later and was traded to Minnesota in 2003.

MITCHELL REPORT: While lawyers for players and owners plan to resume discussions on the Mitchell report's recommendations for changing the sport's drug testing, the No.  3 official of the players' association said the "current program is working fine."

Union general counsel Michael Weiner and former players Bobby Bonilla and Stan Javier were among a group that met for about 75 minutes with the Astros to discuss the report's ramifications and other issues. The Mitchell report includes recommendations for increased frequency in testing and more independence for the program administrator, who is jointly selected by the sides and was added in 2006.

CUBS: Second baseman Mark DeRosa traveled to Chicago to see a cardiologist after being hospitalized for a rapid heartbeat during fielding drills over the weekend. He said he hoped to be on the field next week.

METS: Reliever Duaner Sanchez pitched in a game for the first time since July 2006, when his right shoulder was separated in a taxi accident in Florida. The right-hander gave up two hits and a walk, striking out one in a scoreless inning.

PHILLIES: The team said surgery on closer Brad Lidge's right knee was successful. The right-hander is expected to miss three to six weeks.

RANGERS: Right-hander Kevin Millwood was scratched from Friday's start because of a right hamstring injury. … Former manager Jerry Narron was hired as a consultant.

ROCKIES: Manager Clint Hurdle, who usually keeps players guessing until mid March, told left-hander Jeff Francis he'd get the opening-day start March 31 at St. Louis.

TWINS: Manager Ron Gardenhire has decided to start former Ray Delmon Young in leftfield and leave Michael Cuddyer in right, the Pioneer Press reported. The strong-armed Young was Tampa Bay's starting rightfielder as a rookie and had 16 assists. … Left-hander Francisco Liriano said he received his U.S. visa and was preparing to travel to spring training in Fort Myers.

.AREA TEAMS

Blue Jays: Workouts at Bobby Mattick Complex (1700 Solon Ave., Dunedin). Game tickets: (727) 733-9302; Knology Park (373 Douglas Ave., Dunedin) 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; or bluejays.com.

Phillies: Workouts at Carpenter Complex (651 Old Coachman Road, Clearwater) or Bright House Networks Field (601 N Old Coachman Road). Game tickets: (727) 467-4457; Bright House Networks Field 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday; or phillies.com.

Yankees: Workouts at Legends Field (1 Steinbrenner Drive in Tampa). Game tickets: (813) 879-2244; Legends Field 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday; or ticketmaster.com.

La Russa says Cards said 'no' on Bonds 02/25/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 8:56am]
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