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Angelos calls for a ban on ephedrine

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 21, 2003

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Orioles owner Peter Angelos called on Major League Baseball to ban ephedrine, a stimulant that may have contributed to the death of pitcher Steve Bechler.

Bechler, an Orioles pitching prospect, died Monday, a day after he was unable to complete a workout. Xenadrine, which contains ephedrine, was found in his locker.

"Unfortunately, we're all human and don't move until something very grim and very tragic like this occurs," Angelos said Wednesday. "Hopefully, if anything positive can come from this tragedy, it will be that we'll get the kind of movement we need in these circumstances."

Angelos was a member of management's labor negotiating committee last summer. Under the new contract, players will be tested for the first time, but only for drugs of abuse, such as cocaine, and certain types of banned steroids.

"Our side insisted that these so-called legal supplements (such as ephedrine) be included in the ban," Angelos said. "Unfortunately, the union rejected our position."

Gene Orza, the union's No. 2 official, said Angelos' assertion was incorrect.

"They did request androstenedione (be banned)," Orza said Thursday, "but not ephedra. Ephedra did not fall into the general category of anabolic steroids."

Orza also said that since ephedra is legal, the union likely would have opposed a ban had it been proposed.

A repentant Canseco talks

MIAMI -- Jose Canseco, in his first interview since being jailed this week, said the pending custody battle for his 6-year-old daughter was his reason for breaking probation.

Speaking to ESPN Radio from Miami-Dade County Jail, the six-time All-Star said his first few days in jail have been uneventful but embarrassing after his probation violation and sentencing Tuesday.

The arrest stemmed from a probation officer's report that he was not taking his sentence seriously and had failed to begin anger control classes and community service, and that he had left Florida for longer than 30 days, all violations.

"I was aware (of the terms of the probation), but I got caught up with a lot of things in L.A. with the child-custody issue with my daughter and that just consumed me completely," Canseco said. "It's just ironic where I'm trying to spend time with my daughter . . . and I end up in jail for 30 days which keeps me away from my daughter."

Canseco, the former Rays player, could remain in jail until a March 17 sentencing hearing for violating terms of his probation for a 2001 fight at a Miami Beach nightclub.

Hall of Famer Gibson sued

OMAHA, Neb. -- Bob Gibson is being sued by a man who contends the Hall of Fame pitcher punched and kicked him last year. In the lawsuit filed Feb. 13 in Sarpy County District Court, Miguel B. Sanchez seeks $4,711 for lost wages, bloodied clothes and medical bills. He also seeks unspecified damages for pain and suffering.

No charges were filed after the fight last February. Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov said both men claimed self-defense.

Sanchez said he passed Gibson after Gibson had pulled his vehicle in front of him. He said Gibson followed him to a gas station and punched him twice without provocation, then kicked him in the legs and groin.

Gibson's attorney, David Herzog, said the man's version of events was not consistent with the facts.

ROSE UPDATE: Pete Rose can just about forget participating in the ceremonies that open the Reds' new ballpark on March 31.

Commissioner Bud Selig doesn't plan to consider Rose's application for reinstatement before opening day, the Associated Press reported.

Rose met with Selig in November and Rose's agent met with Bob DuPuy, baseball's No. 2 official, the next month. Rose's application for reinstatement seemed to be gaining momentum before a report that a $151,689 lien was placed on his Los Angeles-area home by the IRS, which says Rose owes taxes.

Officials also were disturbed by reports that he was seen in a Las Vegas casino and sports book, and are investigating Rose's current activities.

Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken had written to Selig in November, urging that Rose be reinstated by the first game in the new stadium, named the Great American Ball Park.

Rose's manager, Warren Greene, declined comment and Selig didn't return telephone calls seeking comment.

BREWERS: Pitchers Luis Martinez and Ben Diggins agreed to one-year contracts, but terms weren't given.

DODGERS: Left-hander Derek Thompson will miss the season because of a torn ligament in his throwing elbow that requires reconstructive surgery.

METS: Free-agent first baseman Tony Clark signed a minor-league contract.

PIRATES: First basemen Randall Simon and Walter Young didn't practice after irregularities were detected in their electrocardiograms. They'll be retested today.

RANGERS: Pitcher Brian Shouse, a nonroster player, was flown to Texas for further tests after his electrocardiogram showed an abnormality.

Left-hander Doug Davis, vying for a spot in the starting rotation, agreed to terms on a one-year, $427,500 contract.

RED SOX: Outfielder Kevin Millar signed a two-year $5.3-million contract with a team option for 2005.

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