Royals’ Beltran Is Suspended Without Pay

From Associated Press

American League rookie of the year Carlos Beltran was suspended without pay Thursday by the Kansas City Royals for refusing to report to the team’s Florida training complex for rehabilitation.

The players’ association promised to file a grievance today and a default notice if the 23-year-old center fielder doesn’t receive his full paycheck on Aug. 15.

Kansas City said that if the union acts, they would continue to pay Beltran. Otherwise, the team would risk having Beltran become a free agent if arbitrator Shyam Das ruled in the union’s favor.

Royal General Manager Allard Baird said the team has a policy that players on the disabled list don’t travel with the major league club.

Beltran’s agent, Scott Boras, said the Royals’ policy violated the collective bargaining agreement and cited examples of other players who travel with major league teams while on the DL, including Atlanta’s John Smoltz and San Francisco’s Barry Bonds.

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Former National League MVP Kevin Mitchell was expelled from the independent Western Baseball League for the rest of the season after punching the owner of an opposing team. Mitchell, the former San Francisco Giant star, was playing for the Sonoma County Crushers when the brawl occurred Tuesday night. Mitchell hit Solano Steelhead owner Bruce Portner, who had come on the field, soon after the fight had broken up. Portner was left with a black eye and earlier this week said he planned to press assault charges against Mitchell. . . . Reggie Jackson sold his name to a Web site offering casino games, but it also showed up on a second one that features gambling on sports, including baseball. Jackson’s lawyers had approved the use of his name for the first site, but said they had no knowledge that it was being used to point to the sports gambling site as well. Major league baseball is investigating Jackson’s involvement with Transworld Network SA WorldNet Casinos Inc., located in San Jose, Costa Rica, which operates the sites. . . . Because of his battle with cancer, Darryl Strawberry won’t join the St. Paul Saints this summer to do community relations work.

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Rico Brogna, who lost his job as first baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, was claimed off waivers by the Boston Red Sox. . . . Luis Polonia signed with his former team, the New York Yankees, three days after the Detroit Tigers released him. . . . Former Boston Red Sox designated hitter Mike Stanley has reached agreement on a contract with the Oakland Athletics, his agent Jim Bronner said. . . . The Cincinnati Reds put catcher Eddie Taubensee on the 15-day disabled list because of a bulging disk in his back.