Tampa Bay Devil Rays outfielder Josh Hamilton was suspended for the 2004 season for violating baseball's drug policy.
Hamilton, the first pick in the 1999 draft, already had been given a 30-day suspension Feb. 17. Under the new suspension announced yesterday, he isn't eligible for reinstatement until spring training next year, the commissioner's office said.
Hamilton hasn't played since July 2002 because of injuries and unspecified personal issues. He did not report to the team's camp yesterday.
"It's tough for Josh. He's a friend of mine," Tampa Bay outfielder Rocco Baldelli said. "He's dealing with some things that none of us really know how to deal with. I hope he gets things straightened out."
Hamilton received a $3.96 million signing bonus out of high school. In 251 minor league games, he's hit .295 with 33 homers and 166 RBIs.
"All we can do is hope that Josh Hamilton will be ready to participate in our 2005 spring training," Devil Rays general manager Chuck Lamar said.
Williams suit filed
Three family members of baseball icon Ted Williams have filed a lawsuit against a cryonics company, demanding it produce paperwork showing that Williams wanted his remains frozen at the Scottsdale, Ariz., facility.
Williams's eldest daughter, Bobby-Jo Ferrell, and the Hall of Famer's nephews -- John Theodore Williams and Samuel Stuart Williams -- filed the suit Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court against Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
The suit asks the court to force Alcor to reveal whether the organization obtained legal permission to store Williams's body. It claims Alcor is required to disclose the paperwork under the Arizona Anatomical Gift Act.
Their ultimate goal has been to recover Williams's body for cremation, which they say were his last wishes. Alcor chief executive officer Joe Waynick said all the bodies at the facility are there legally.
"We have very strict paperwork we have to have completed and signed before any patient can be admitted here," Waynick said.
Rivera talks heat up
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera remains hopeful a deal on a three-year contract extension can be completed before the team leaves for Japan next week. Fernando Cuza, Rivera's agent, and New York general manager Brian Cashman met for three hours yesterday. Cuza was believed to have made a $33 million, three-year proposal. The Yankees are thought to be looking at a two-year deal with a team or vesting option for the third season . . . Eric Chavez selected eight teams he can't be traded to without permission as part of his $66 million, six-year extension with the Oakland Athletics. As part of the deal, the sides agreed the third baseman's consent would be needed for trades to Cleveland, Florida, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Montreal, New York Mets, Tampa Bay, and Toronto
. . . The Florida Marlins may have to wait until June for pitcher A.J. Burnett's return. Burnett underwent Tommy John surgery early last season, and had hoped to come back by May 1. Burnett's comeback was set back two weeks ago when he felt pain in his right elbow after finishing his third bullpen session . . . Giants ace Jason Schmidt was scratched from his scheduled start today because of a sore throwing shoulder. Schmidt, who had offseason elbow surgery, felt minor tightness in his shoulder earlier in the week . . . Cincinnati Reds righthander D.J. Mattox had reconstructive elbow surgery and is expected to miss the season . . . Montreal Expos pitcher Tony Armas Jr. strained a muscle on his right side, another setback in his comeback from shoulder surgery last year.