Ruiz tests positive, out 25 games

McClatchy news servicesNovember 28, 2012 

Add catcher to the Philadelphia Phillies’ needs this offseason.

All-Star Carlos Ruiz was suspended Tuesday for the first 25 games of next season following a positive test for an amphetamine. The 33-year-old catcher had a career year in 2012, hitting .325 with 16 homers and 68 RBI in 114 games.

“I am sincerely regretful for my mistake in taking a prohibited stimulant,” Ruiz said in a statement issued by the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Ruiz will be eligible to participate in spring training, including exhibition games.

Erik Kratz will likely begin the 2013 season as Philadelphia’s starting catcher while Ruiz serves his suspension.

This had to be Ruiz’s second positive test for a stimulant. An initial positive for a stimulant does not trigger a suspension, only that the player must undergo follow-up testing.

YANKEES, PETTITTE CLOSE ON ONE-YEAR DEAL

Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees are nearing agreement on a one-year contract in the range of $10 million to $12 million, a person familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because talks are ongoing.

Pettitte, who turns 41 in June, retired after the 2010 season and then decided to come back this year and signed a contract guaranteeing $2.5 million.

New York also is negotiating on a deal with closer Mariano Rivera, who turns 43 on Thursday.

EX-BASEBALL UNION HEAD MILLER DEAD AT 95

Marvin Miller, the soft-spoken union head who led baseball players in a series of strikes and legal battles that won free agency, revolutionized sports and turned athletes into multimillionaires, died Tuesday. He was 95.

Miller died at his home in Manhattan, said his daughter Susan Miller. He had been diagnosed with liver cancer in August.

In his 16 years as executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, starting in 1966, Miller fought owners on many fronts, winning free agency for players in December 1975. He may best be remembered, however, as the man who made the word “strike” stand for something other than a pitched ball.

EXTRA BASES

Athletics players decided to donate one full playoff share to eight local and national charitable efforts, a total of $34,325.16. … Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa are set to appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time, which will be officially announced today. Craig Biggio, Mike Piazza and Curt Schilling are certain to be among the other first-time eligible players, with Jack Morris, Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines the top holdover candidates. … The Cubs agreed to a one-year contract with pitcher Scott Feldman. … The White Sox are adding Bobby Thigpen as their bullpen coach and Daryl Boston as the new first base coach while Harold Baines will move from first base coach to assistant hitting coach. … Blue Jays right-handed reliever Casey Janssen had surgery on his throwing shoulder to repair lingering joint soreness.

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