Major League Notebook
The baseball notebook …
MILWAUKEE ó With Prince Fielder all but gone and Ryan Braun facing a possible 50-game suspension, the Milwaukee Brewers needed another source of offense.
The Brewers finalized a $36 million, three-year contract with free agent third baseman Aramis Ramirez on Wednesday, adding a much-needed bat to their lineup.
Ramirez, who played the past eight-plus seasons for the NL Central rival Chicago Cubs, said he considers the Brewers a team that will be in position contend every year for the foreseeable future ó even if they do lose Braun for a chunk of next season and lose Fielder for good.
ěYouíre going to miss those guys if Ryan Braun is suspended, but I think you win with pitching,î Ramirez said.
And while Ramirez said heíll do his best to help produce runs, he doesnít see himself as a direct replacement for Fielder.
ěYou canít replace Prince Fielder,î Ramirez said. ěHeís one of the best hitters in the game.î
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin acknowledged that Wednesdayís signing of Ramirez more or less means that theyíre moving on from Fielder, who is almost sure to sign elsewhere.
SAN FRANCISCO ó The largest federal criminal investigation into sports doping began more than nine years ago with a tax agent digging through the trash of the now notorious Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. Barring an appeal, the government’s work comes to an anti-climactic end Friday when Barry Bonds ó the probe’s highest-profile catch ó is sentenced for obstruction of justice.
In between, the federal government spent millions of dollars and untold staff hours obtaining the convictions of 11 people. Six of them, including track star Marion Jones, were ensnared for lying to grand jurors, federal investigators or the court. Five men, including Bonds’ personal trainer Greg Anderson, pleaded guilty to steroid distribution charges stemming from their BALCO connections.
The investigation in general ó and the pursuit of Bonds in particular ó ignited a debate over whether the government’s long involvement was the best use of public resources.
More than seven years after he testified before a grand jury investigating BALCO, Major League Baseball’s all-time home runs leader was convicted on just one of four remaining counts against him. And the jury deadlocked on whether Bonds lied about taking performance enhancing drugs.
Now, federal sentencing guidelines suggest a prison term of between 15 months and 21 months.
NEW YORK ó New Mets center fielder Andres Torres knows about struggles.
An injury-plagued 2011 season was difficult. But he’s dealt with greater adversity.
A new documentary is coming out on how he managed his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder to become a World Series winner with the San Francisco Giants in 2010.
“It’s about helping others and how we get better, and I think it’s a great project,” Torres said Wednesday, a week after the Mets acquired him from the Giants along with pitcher Ramon Ramirez for outfielder Angel Pagan.
SAN FRANCISCO ó The San Francisco Giants were working Wednesday to finalize a $1 million, one-year contract with free agent reliever Guillermo Mota to bring him back for a third season.
ST. LOUIS ó The St. Louis Cardinals finalized a two-year, $14 million free agent deal with shortstop Rafael Furcal, a trade deadline pickup who helped them in their run to the World Series title.
NEW YORK (AP) ó C.J. Wilson will earn $10 million in 2012 as he starts his $77.5 million, five-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels. The left-hander’s salary will rise to $11 million in 2013, $16 million in 2014, $18 million in 2015 and $20 million in 2016.
NEW YORK ó Yogi Berra will be among the honorees at the 32nd Thurman Munson awards dinner.
He’ll be joined by Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, Mets pitcher R.A. Dickey and former NBA and St. John’s star Chris Mullin, who will receive awards for their athletic success and philanthropic work at the dinner on Jan. 31 in New York.
The 86-year-old Berra will receive the Munson Legend Award in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World Champion New York Yankees.
By Brad Senkiw Scripps Howard News Service Hanging out a birthday party last Saturday, I kept wandering over to the... read more