FBI aid may have led to pardon for Yanks boss

WASHINGTON — The FBI released documents Monday stating that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner assisted the agency in two investigations — one of them apparently a terrorism probe — in the years leading up to his pardon by President Ronald Reagan on a campaign-contributions conviction.

The Associated Press and other news organizations requested the FBI file under the Freedom of Information Act after Steinbrenner's death in July in Tampa. The first release was made in December. The two releases combined totaled about 800 pages.

In a newly released 1988 FBI memo, the FBI said that it "supports the contention that George Steinbrenner has provided the FBI with valuable assistance."

Seven months later, Reagan pardoned Steinbrenner for his convictions in a case involving campaign donations to President Richard Nixon and other politicians.

The documents, included in the second release of Steinbrenner's FBI file, also show that he blamed his illegal corporate campaign contribution to Nixon on bad legal advice.

The memo disclosed Monday described one probe in which Steinbrenner assisted as "an undercover operation" that ultimately led to an arrest, prosecution and conviction. The FBI described the other investigation simply as "a sensitive security matter." The FBI deleted all specifics about the probes.

BRADLEY CUT: The Mariners designated temperamental outfielder Milton Bradley for assignment. Bradley, 33, was suspended for a game last week for bumping an umpire, ejected Friday for arguing a called third strike and booed over the weekend for the perception he was dogging it on defense. The Mariners also cut utilityman Ryan Langerhans and called up OFs Carlos Peguero and Mike Wilson from Triple-A Tacoma.

WEAVER AUCTION: Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver is auctioning off 47 keepsakes, including his 1966 World Series ring and jerseys received as gifts from Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray. The former Orioles skipper will earn tens of thousands of dollars from the sale, but Weaver said he doesn't need the money and isn't keeping any of it. "I have four children. They have children, and their children have children," said Weaver, who turns 81 in August. "I don't know how to divide whatever memorabilia there is among them."

ATHLETICS: LF Josh Willingham was suspended for one game after making contact with an umpire in Saturday's game.

BREWERS: Utilityman Erick Almonte, the first player to go on the new seven-day disabled list for concussions, returned to physical activity after clearing his baseline test.

CUBS: LHP Doug Davis, who signed a minor-league contract that has an opt-out clause if he isn't in the majors by May 30, was promoted to Triple-A Iowa after one start at Class A.

DODGERS: Closer Jonathan Broxton, who went on the DL Friday with a bone spur in his elbow, could miss up to six weeks, manager Don Mattingly told the Los Angeles Times.

MARLINS: RH reliever Edward Mujica left the game against the Phillies with an injured left leg.

ORIOLES: An MRI exam revealed that LF Luke Scott has a partial tear of the labrum in his right shoulder. Scott expects to try to play through the injury.

PHILLIES: RHP Roy Oswalt, on the DL with lower back inflammation, is unlikely to be activated when eligible Friday but hopes to start Tuesday.

RANGERS: Reigning AL MVP and former Rays prospect Josh Hamilton is set to start taking batting practice Friday, a month and a day after breaking his upper right arm.

FBI aid may have led to pardon for Yanks boss 05/09/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 12:06am]

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