Baseball union head Michael Weiner said Monday there have been talks about increasing the penalties for violating baseball’s drug testing program.
“There are certainly some players who have expressed that,” Weiner said. “We’ve had discussions with the commissioner’s office. If it turns out that we have a different penalty structure because that’s what players are interested in, that’s what the owners are interested in, it will be for 2014.”
Weiner spoke to the media after he met with the Toronto Blue Jays as part of his annual tour of spring training camps.
“On one hand, we do have the toughest penalties of any team sport,” Weiner said. “Fifty games is more than you’d see for the first time in football and hockey and basketball.
“More and more players are vocal about the desire to have a clean game.”
Changes to the drug program must be approved by Major League Baseball and the players’ union.
MARLINS OWNER TALKS OFFSEASON MOVES
Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has begun a public-relations campaign and is trying to put a positive spin on his widely mocked offseason decisions.
After a dismal first season in the Marlins’ new home, Loria said, the latest dismantling of the roster was the right move because the team was heading in the wrong direction.
And he said a return to payroll austerity was needed because the Marlins lost tens of millions of dollars in 2012 after an unprecedented spending spree.
The Marlins hope to sign slugger Giancarlo Stanton to a multiyear contract eventually, Loria said.
Many expect Florida to lose 100 games after trading Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and others in the offseason.
Major League Baseball announced it has promoted Jim Joyce, Ted Barrett and Fieldin Culbreth to crew chiefs and hired Vic Carapazza, Manny Gonzalez and Alan Porter as full-time staff members after the retirements of crew chiefs Ed Rapuano, Tim Tschida and Derryl Cousins.
Ex-Mariners outfielder Jose Cruz Jr., 38, has joined the players’ union in the player services department as a special assistant to help provide support to Spanish-speaking players. ... Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera threw a 32-pitch live batting practice session on Monday. ... The Braves appear to be setting up for Kris Medlen to be their opening-day starter. In 2012, the 27-year-old moved to the rotation from the bullpen en route to a 10-1 record and 1.57 ERA. ... The Diamondbacks announced that Ian Kennedy would be their opening-day starter April 1 at home against the Cardinals. Trevor Cahill, Wade Miley and Brandon McCarthy would round out the rotation. ... Outfielder Alex Gordon was scratched from the Royals’ lineup Monday with stiffness in his lower back.