|Barry Bonds finishes hitting yesterday; he's not ready to start talking to MLB. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
Bonds is balking at request
He won't give cooperation to MLB's steroids probe
Barry Bonds and other players under suspicion of using performance enhancing drugs have been asked by Major League Baseball's lead steroids investigator to turn over medical records and submit to interviews.
A letter urging the cooperation of Bonds and other players tied to the BALCO scandal was sent Feb. 1 by former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who is leading baseball's steroids inquiry. The letter, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Sunday on its website, was accompanied by medical waiver forms that, if signed, would allow investigators to view Bonds's and other players' medical records.
Bonds's lawyer, Michael Rains, told the Chronicle that the Giants star cannot cooperate as long as he remains the focus of a possible perjury indictment.
Rains said Bonds wanted to help but could not do so while facing possible indictment on perjury charges related to his testimony before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, the Northern California lab that allegedly provided performance-enhancing drugs to the athletes.
Members of Congress have told Mitchell they might intervene if baseball's own investigation is hampered by lack of player cooperation.
"It's not an option we're looking at," Cashman said. "Bobby is coming back. The question is when." The team is hopeful Abreu will be ready for Opening Day on April 2.
"He had a significant oblique strain," Cashman said. "I'll probably say three weeks, but we'll see. Worst case, it's one of those lengthy ones that gives him too short a period of time to get ready. But it's really premature to be guessing."
Williams rejected the Yankees' offer of a minor league contract and spring training invite, but Torre said Abreu's injury wouldn't make the Yankees reconsider their plans.
Also, New York's Johnny Damon returned to Legends Field yesterday, saying his mind was clearer following a two-day leave of absence to attend to unspecified personal matters.