August 2, 2013 in Sports

Monday MLB drug deal deadline as playoffs loom

Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez faces a potential lifetime ban.
(Full-size photo)

Monday appears to be the deadline for Alex Rodriguez and 13 others to accept suspensions for their ties to the Biogenesis of America anti-aging clinic. While Rodriguez is expected to get a lengthy ban, a penalty starting that day would allow Texas Rangers All-Star outfielder Nelson Cruz to return for the postseason in October.

Major League Baseball will issue two simultaneous announcements, a person familiar with the process said. One would list players who accept suspensions; the other would name those disciplined without deals, but who could challenge penalties before an arbitrator.

Most players face 50-game suspensions for their links to the now-closed Florida clinic, which has been accused of distributing banned performance- enhancing drugs.

But baseball is threatening to kick Rodriguez out for life unless the three-time A.L. MVP agrees to a long ban, perhaps around 200 games.

Others facing discipline include All-Star shortstops Jhonny Peralta (Tigers) and Evereth Cabrera (Padres), and catchers Francisco Cervelli (Yankees) and Jesus Montero (Mariners).

Pujols return possible

Albert Pujols isn’t ready to wrap up his season with the Los Angeles Angels.

Pujols said he wants to return from his partially torn plantar fascia when he is healthy, no matter where his struggling club sits in the standings.

Pujols said his injured left foot is feeling much better after a few days of rest, and he won’t need surgery.

Although he will be in a walking boot for another three weeks, he hopes to return when he is cleared.

Lidge retires as Phillie

Brad Lidge, who was perfect as a closer during Philadelphia’s 2008 World Series championship season, formally retired as a member of the Phillies.

Lidge hasn’t pitched in the majors since last June with the Washington Nationals. He spent four years with Philadelphia from 2008-11, saving 100 games in that span.

He had 225 career saves and 18 more in the postseason.

Berkman won’t retire

Lance Berkman says he is going to keep playing, and will do everything he can to help the Texas Rangers down the stretch.

The 37-year-old designated hitter is on the disabled list with left hip inflammation and having issues with his surgically repaired right knee. But he said he’s “coming back.”

Berkman had been pondering his playing future for several days, and midseason retirement had been a distinct possibility.

He will join the team on its trip to the West Coast to keep working out, and is targeting next week for the start of a rehab assignment.

Ripken offers reward

Cal Ripken Jr. announced a $100,000 reward for information that helps lead to the capture and conviction of the person who abducted his mother a year ago.

Vi Ripken was taken from her home at gunpoint on July 24, 2012, and returned unharmed 24 hours later. The former Oriole said he hoped the reward would re-energize his mother’s unsolved case.

In the crime’s immediate aftermath, the Aberdeen (Md.) Police Department released a sketch, photographs and a surveillance video that were believed to show the potential suspect.

But tips resulting from those have failed to bring an arrest, prompting the Hall of Famer to announce the reward at a news conference just steps from his old home ballpark, Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

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