February 21, 2013
MLB notes: Mike Schmidt OK with Bonds, Clemens in Hall of Fame
By QMI Sports

Philadelphia Phillies infielder Chase Utley (L) talks with Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt (R) during workouts at the team's spring training complex in Clearwater, Fla., Feb. 29, 2012. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius)

Former Philadelphia Phillies great Mike Schmidt wouldn't mind seeing Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens join him in Cooperstown.

Bonds and Clemens were denied entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame last month largely due to suspicion of PED use.

"I would not have a problem with Bonds or Clemens," Schmidt told CSNPhilly.com. "Here we are convicting them of PED use and we don't know anything more than we read."

Bonds, who belted 762 home runs during his 22 MLB seasons, fell well short of the required 75% needed to secure induction, finishing with just 36.2% of the vote. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, received just 37.6% of the vote.

"I don't think anyone that failed a legitimate test should be in (the Hall of Fame)," Schmidt said. "But I'd need to see a legitimate test."

Suspicion surrounding the league's steroids era has also played a role in keeping the likes of Mark McGwire, Jeff Bagwell and Mike Piazza out of Cooperstown.


"I really feel uneasy about linking players of that era to PEDs who may not have been involved," Schmidt said. "I think it's totally wrong that that whole generation is being linked to PEDs."

SAN JOSE A'S?

Talk of the Oakland A's potentially moving to San Jose heated up Thursday when the LA Times reported the team has been given guidelines it would need to follow to do so.

Although the Times says nothing is imminent, the A's now know what Major League Baseball expects if they hope to shift cities. It's unlikely anything would happen before 2018.

The San Francisco Giants have territorial rights to San Jose and can veto a move if 75% of MLB owners don't approve it. The A's could offer up some cash for the Giants to waive territorial rights, though.

Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a three-man committee nearly four years ago to look at the situation. On Thursday, MLB stayed mum, issuing just a one-sentence statement to the Times.

"The committee continues to work hard on this very complex, complicated situation," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said.

YANKS SHUFFLING OUTFIELD

The New York Yankees will experiment with an outfield shift during Grapefruit League games.

Curtis Granderson will slide over to left field while Brett Gardner will audition in centre, Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Thursday.

"We're going to toy with it, see if we like it," Girardi said on MLB.com. "If we do, we'll stay with it. If we don't, then we won't."

Gardner would like to switch to the middle of the outfield after spending most of his career in left while Granderson, who says he would prefer to play centrefield, hasn't played in left since 2007. But Granderson says he's not going to start pouting about the possible switch.

"Not at all," he said. "I'm playing. If I get benched, that's a different story. But I'm still playing, and that's what I want to do, continue to help this team."

PRICE BACKPEDALS

OK, so maybe Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price isn't that attached to his facial hair after all.

After saying he wouldn't play for the New York Yankees because of their restrictive policy on beards, Price went on the defensive Thursday.

"It probably wasn't the best thing to say, but I didn't mean anything by it," Price told reporters in Florida. "I wasn't looking to offend the Yankees. It's probably the best organization in all of sports. Not just baseball, but all of sports. I didn't mean anything (against) the New York Yankees. I've had friends on that team for multiple years."

Price, the 2012 Cy Young Award winner, made his comments about the Yankees when asked about the possibility of being traded this season, assuming New York would be interested in acquiring the lefthander.

"Those rules, that's old-school baseball," Price told FOXSports.com. "I was born in '85. That's not for me. That's not something I want to be a part of."

PUJOLS EXPECTED BACK

Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols won't return from knee surgery until next month, manager Mike Scoscia told reporters Thursday.

Still recovering from minor right knee surgery, Pujols, 33, could miss most of spring training.

"We'll see where he is week to week," Scioscia said. "If he's playing by mid-March, he's fine. That's probably the back end of what he needs. I think if he's ready sooner, fine, we can work him in."

A little over five weeks away from Opening Day, the Halos remain confident the nine-time all-star will return in time for April.

Pujols has resumed batting practice after going under the knife in mid-October.

In his first season with the Angles, Pujols batted .285 with 30 home runs and 105 RBIs in 2012.

BRIEFLY

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is OK after being struck on the helmet by a teammate's fastball. Immediately after being hit by a Jose Fernandez pitch on Wednesday, Stanton reported blurry vision, which he said returned to normal shortly after X-rays were negative ... Record-setting Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps took batting practice with the Baltimore Orioles Thursday. The 18-time gold medallist, wearing an Orioles No. 18 jersey naturally, took five rounds in the batting cage, spraying a number of line drives to the outfield ... Former catcher Ivan Rodriguez was hired by the Texas Rangers as special assistant to the GM, instructor and ambassador. Rodriguez played 12 of his 22 MLB seasons with the Rangers ... Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Eliezer Alfonzo won't be in training camp any time soon. Alfonzo, who has twice been suspended for drug violations, is stuck in his native Venezuela with dengue fever, according to the LA Times ... Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Corey Hart, who had knee surgery a month ago, expects to be back in the lineup by late April. The original timeframe for Hart to heal was four months, which would have him back in late May.

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