A newspaper reported San Francisco Giants All-Star Melky Cabrera tried to avoid a 50-game drug suspension by creating a fake website and product to support his claim that he inadvertently took the illegal substance.
The New York Daily News reported Sunday that Major League Baseball investigators quickly uncovered the scheme during the fact-finding phase of the case in July. The incident has drawn the attention of federal investigators. Cabrera was suspended Wednesday.
In their search for the source of the drug that caused elevated levels of testosterone in Cabrera’s sample, investigators are looking into Juan Nunez, who is alleged to have paid for the website. Nunez is a consultant to Cabrera’s agents, Sam and Seth Levinson.
Nunez told the newspaper the Levinsons had no knowledge of the website scheme.
ASTROS DISMISS MANAGER MILLS
The Houston Astros named Tony DeFrancesco interim manager on Sunday, a day after firing Brad Mills.
DeFrancesco was the manager of Houston’s Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City.
In his third season running the Astros, Mills was dismissed Saturday night after Houston lost to the Diamondbacks, 12-4.
DeFrancesco managed Oklahoma City to a 67-60 record and has the RedHawks contending for a playoff spot this season in the Pacific Coast League. Houston lost Sunday to drop the worst record in the major leagues at 39-83.
Hitting coach Mike Barnett and first base coach Bobby Meacham were also let go Saturday. Dan Radison will take over in the interim as first base coach and Ty Van Burkleo will be the hitting coach.
The Red Sox will decide today whether left fielder Carl Crawford will have season-ending surgery on his left elbow. … The Pirates placed outfielder Starling Marte on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right oblique muscle. … Oakland starting pitchers Brett Anderson and A.J. Griffin may come off the DL as soon as today. … The Marlins activated outfielder Emilio Bonifacio and infielder Donnie Murphy from the 15-day DL. The team optioned outfielder Scott Cousins to Triple-A New Orleans and designated infielder Gil Velazquez for assignment. … The Rockies placed outfielder Michael Cuddyer on the 15-day DL because of a right oblique strain and recalled outfielder Andrew Brown from Triple-A Colorado Springs. … The Dodgers activated left-hander Scott Elbert from the 15-day disabled list and optioned utility player Elian Herrera to Triple-A Albuquerque. … The Cubs optioned left-hander Brooks Raley to Triple-A Iowa on Sunday, the day after he earned his first career win. … The Reds optioned right-hander Todd Redmond to Triple-A Louisville on Sunday, a day after he made his major league debut. … The Padres have optioned pitcher Ross Ohlendorf to Triple-A Tucson.