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Selig says there's no ban on Barry Bonds

Source:ap.org Author:BOB BAUM Date:03/25/14 Click:

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Bud Selig says he isn't trying to keep Barry Bonds out of baseball, and the commissioner told the Houston Astros it's up to them whether to have Roger Clemens in their spring training camp.

Selig made the comments in an informal meeting Saturday with reporters at Scottsdale Stadium, where the San Francisco Giants played the Oakland Athletics.

He also confirmed that he met with Giants owner Peter Magowan and that Major League Baseball investigators spoke with the team's general manager, Brian Sabean, about the findings in the Mitchell Report on drugs.

Selig and Magowan sat together for the Cactus League game.

The commissioner declined to offer any other information on the talks but said he still hopes to decide on any punishment as a result of the report by the end of spring training.

"The conversations go on and I said I was going to handle all this on a case-by-case basis," Selig said. "These are very sensitive matters."

Bonds, who passed Hank Aaron to become baseball's home run king last season, was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice. The indictment accuses him of lying to a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative's involvement in the distribution of steroids and other illegal performance-enhancing substances.

After 15 seasons with San Francisco, Bonds was not re-signed by the Giants after last season and has not hooked on with another club. He has denied ever knowingly using steroids or other illegal performance enhancers.

Selig said he has a personal opinion on whether Bonds should be in baseball, but he would keep it to himself.

"Every club is free to do whatever they want with whom," said Selig, adding that he had not read Bonds' grand jury testimony that was ordered released by a judge on Friday.

When asked if it was appropriate for Clemens to be in Astros camp, Selig said: "I have said to (owner) Drayton McLane and the Houston club that that's a decision they have to make."

Clemens has appeared at the Astros' spring training workouts in Florida, sometimes throwing batting practice to minor leaguers, but has not signed to pitch for any team this season. He does have a 10-year personal services contract with the Astros that starts when he retires.

In the Mitchell Report, Clemens' former personal trainer, Brian McNamee, said he injected the seven-time Cy Young Award winner with steroids and human growth hormone — a charge the pitcher has vehemently denied.

The FBI has opened a probe to determine whether Clemens or McNamee lied in recent testimony to Congress.

Clemens told a House committee that he had never used steroids or HGH. McNamee testified that he injected the pitcher with the drugs.

While not speaking specifically about the Giants, Selig indicated he did not believe any team had been unfairly singled out in the Mitchell Report.

"George Mitchell talked to every team, many owners, almost every general manager," Selig said. "Whatever he came up with, he came up with, but he had access to everybody. He didn't need subpoena power there."

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