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MLB: Rodriguez moving forward

Associated Press
JUPITER, Fla. ó Alex Rodriguez says he’s happy to put behind him a meeting with baseball officials about his use of steroids more than five years ago.
The New York Yankees slugger reported to the Dominican Republic team Monday and took part in its first workout in preparation for the World Baseball Classic. The practice came a day after Rodriguez met for two hours with Major League Baseball officials about his positive drug tests in 2001-03 while with the Texas Rangers.
“It’s really good to get yesterday behind me ó another one of the big steps,” Rodriguez said. “For me, now the focus is the WBC.”
Rodriguez declined to say what happened at the meeting or what he expects regarding any follow-up.
BONDS
SAN FRANCISCO ó The perjury trial of Barry Bonds has been delayed at least through July and likely beyond as an appeal filed by prosecutors over key evidence for the trial winds through the legal system.
RANGERS
SURPRISE, Ariz. ó Texas slugger Josh Hamilton is expected to return to the lineup Wednesday after some extra recovery time for his strained left Achilles’ tendon.
Hamilton, who got hurt Sunday, didn’t travel with the team for its spring training game Monday against Cleveland. Hamilton did report to Rangers camp and asked to be the designated hitter against the Indians, but the decision was made for him to not make the trip.
Texas has its first off day of the spring today, giving Hamilton consecutive days off.
ATHLETICS
PHOENIX ó Oakland is close to signing free agent Orlando Cabrera to a $4 million, one-year contract, likely ending former AL Rookie of the Year Bobby Crosby’s disappointing tenure as the team’s starting shortstop.
Cabrera hit .281 with eight home runs and 57 RBIs in 161 games with the Chicago White Sox last season.
TIGERS
LAKELAND, Fla. ó Manager Jim Leyland said starting pitcher Jeremy Bonderman, who was sent back to Detroit due to medical concerns about his pitching shoulder, was fine and will be back on the mound before the team goes north in about five weeks.
MARINERS
PEORIA, Ariz. ó Now that Ken Griffey Jr.’s swollen knee has calmed down, he is ready to play in his first game for Seattle in a decade.
The 39-year-old slugger hit for about 10 minutes against two Class A pitchers in a simulated game Monday. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu then confirmed Griffey will make his spring debut, as planned, at designated hitter Wednesday against Australia’s national team.
NATIONALS
VIERA, Fla. ó Five weeks before the start of the regular season, Jim Bowden resigned as Washington’s general manager. So exactly who is calling the shots on personnel moves until a successor is chosen?
For now, it’s team president Stan Kasten.
“I’m in charge. … I’ve done this before,” Kasten said after meeting with Washington’s front-office team. “I’m doing what we need to do to keep the franchise moving forward.”
In 1999, Kasten simultaneously served as president of baseball’s Atlanta Braves, the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers. At 27, he became the youngest GM in NBA history with the Hawks, holding the position from 1979-1990.
MARLINS
MIAMI ó Florida’s bid to build a new ballpark in Miami has stalled again.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez said that until city officials can decide whether they want the new stadium in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood, county officials will no longer work on the deal. Alvarez called the political climate that surrounds the proposal “toxic.”
City commissioners are expected to take up most of the stadium agreement Friday.
PADRES
PEORIA, Ariz. ó San Diego’s Heath Bell, who’s taking over for departed closer Trevor Hoffman, was added to the United States’ roster for the World Baseball Classic.
DODGERS
PHOENIX ó Joe Torre has narrowed his choice for opening day starter to three candidates ó Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda and Randy Wolf.
The field of pitchers in the running for the fifth starter spot behind No. 4 Clayton Kershaw is longer. Two prime candidates, Eric Milton and Claudio Vargas, each tossed a pair of scoreless innings in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the White Sox.

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