MLB NOTEBOOK: Some wanted A-Rod out of union
NEW YORK (AP) — Several angry major league players wanted Alex Rodriguez kicked out of their union after he sued it last week, but staff lawyers told them expulsion was not allowed.
The players spoke Jan. 13 during a Major League Baseball Players Association conference call after Rodriguez sued the union and Major League Baseball to overturn an arbitrator’s decision suspending him for the 2014 season and postseason.
Details were first reported Tuesday by Yahoo Sports and later confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the call. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no statements were authorized.
The union and Rodriguez spokesman Ron Berkowitz declined comment.
Parks will have metal detectors
NEW YORK (AP) — Entering a big league ballpark will be a bit like going through an airport by 2015.
Major League Baseball has told its 30 teams they must implement security screening for fans by then, either with hand-held metal detection or walk-through magnetometers.
The Seattle Mariners announced Tuesday that fans entering Safeco Field will have to walk through metal detectors starting with this year’s opener.
Boston, the New York Mets, Oakland, Pittsburgh and San Francisco were among the teams that experimented with screening at times last year. Security gained more intense focus after three people were killed and more than 260 wounded in when two bombs were set off at the Boston Marathon finish line.
Big league teams have generally limited bags that fans bring to 16 inches by 16 inches by 8 inches.
In an effort to increase security this season, the NFL limited the size and type of bags fans can bring to games. With the exception of medically necessary items, only clear plastic, vinyl or PVC bags no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches have been allowed.
One-gallon clear plastic freezer bags also were permitted along with clear plastic bags approximately the size of someone’s hand.
Abreu signs deal with Phillies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Outfielder Bobby Abreu signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies and will be invited to spring training.
The 39-year-old Abreu was a two-time All-Star with the Phillies in 2004-05. He was traded to the New York Yankees in 2006 and didn’t play in the majors last year.
Abreu could fill Philadelphia’s need for a left-handed hitter off the bench. He hit .322 in 50 games in the Venezuelan Winter League in 2013.
Abreu has 2,437 career hits, 287 home runs, 1,349 RBIs and 399 stolen bases over 17 seasons with Houston, the Phillies, Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers.
He ranks 22nd in baseball history in walks (1,456) and 23rd in doubles (565).