Sox ace: Part of book true, author 'sham'

By wire services
Published March 20, 2005

Curt Schilling believes Jose Canseco told the truth in parts of his book and said that the slugger's career was "a sham" because he used steroids. The Red Sox pitcher spoke publicly for the first time since testifying Thursday at a congressional hearing.

He said he didn't know if Mark McGwire was treated unfairly at the hearing. McGwire declined several times to say whether he had used steroids, while three other witnesses in Washington - Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Schilling - said they hadn't.

"Mark is a friend," Schilling said. "He made decisions based on advice and I can only speak about my situation."

In Juiced, published last month, Canseco named several players, including himself and McGwire, whom he said had used steroids. In 1988 Canseco became the first to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season.

"He admitted to being a cheater. His whole career was a sham," Schilling said of Canseco.

Also, Schilling will miss opening day, setting up David Wells to start against the Yankees. Boston manager Terry Francona said Schilling might sit out the first two weeks. Schilling, coming back from ankle surgery last November, will make his first start of spring Monday in a minor-league game.

Bonds' ex-girlfriend testifies

Prosecutors in the BALCO steroids conspiracy case subpoenaed a former girlfriend of Barry Bonds to testify before a federal grand jury in San Francisco last week, questioning her about the Giants star's finances and whether he used steroids, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Kimberly Bell, 35, a graphics artist from San Jose who says she dated Bonds from 1994 to 2003, told the grand jury Thursday that the leftfielder confided to her in 2000 that he used steroids, the Chronicle reported.

Berkman, Astros extend deal

KISSIMMEE - Houston outfielder Lance Berkman completed a six-year, $85-million contract on Saturday with the Astros, keeping the three-time All-Star from becoming a free agent after this season.

"I'm just thrilled to make this type of commitment to the team," Berkman said.

Berkman avoided arbitration when he signed a one-year deal worth $10.5-million in February. The new deal, which runs through 2010, includes the money he was set to make this year. The Astros hold an option for 2011.

Also, ace Roger Clemens is day to day after straining his right hamstring Friday but is still slated to pitch Wednesday.

REDS: Ken Griffey Jr. made his first defensive appearance of the year after the injury-plagued outfielder spent a week limited to designated hitter duties. He played centerfield for the first five innings.

TWINS: Right-hander Boof Bonser, who played at Gibbs High in St. Petersburg, was sent to Rochester in the International League.