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Baseball Notebook

Associated Press
The baseball notebook …
NEW YORK ó An unauthorized and highly anticipated book about Alex Rodriguez is coming out a month sooner than planned.
Publication of Selena Roberts’ “A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez” has been moved up from May 19 to April 14 as scrutiny builds on the New York Yankees slugger after he acknowledged using banned substances from 2001-2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers.
“A-Rod,” which reportedly includes salacious details about Rodriquez’s private life, was originally titled “Hit and Run: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez.” Publisher HarperCollins, which this week listed the new release date on its Web site, has announced a first printing of 150,000 copies.
SANTANACARACAS, Venezuela ó New York Mets ace Johan Santana will not be pitching for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic.
The Venezuelan Baseball Federation announced Friday the two-time Cy Young winner will miss the tournament that begins next month.
Federation president Edwin Zerpa said organizers of the tournament, World Baseball Classic Inc., are not willing to pay the high insurance premium required for the Mets to clear Santana after he underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.
“It puts him in a high-risk category,” Zerpa said.
Santana tested his knee this week for the first time since having surgery on Oct. 1 to repair torn cartilage. He threw 18 pitches and participated in conditioning drills without reporting any discomfort.
The Mets had expressed concerns regarding Santana’s potential risk of injury following surgery, but Zerpa said the club was willing to allow Santana to participate in the tournament if he felt good physically.
Venezuela’s first game is March 7 against Italy in Toronto.
Venezuela was eliminated in the second round of the inaugural baseball classic in 2006.

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