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Franklin Is Hit With Suspension

From Associated Press

Pitcher Ryan Franklin of the Seattle Mariners was suspended 10 days for violating baseball’s steroid policy, the eighth major league player caught under tougher drug rules enacted this year.

The announcement Tuesday came one day after slugger Rafael Palmeiro of the Baltimore Orioles was suspended after testing positive for steroids.

Franklin said he had “no idea” how he tested positive.

“There’s got to be a flaw in the system,” Franklin said. “I have no clue. I tested in [early] May and again three weeks later. The first was positive, the second was negative.”

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The pitcher said he first was told of his positive test in May and “thought it was a joke,” then appealed and appeared before two arbitration committees.

“I’m one of the guys who was supportive of strong testing,” Franklin said. “I believe I got to the big leagues on God-given talent, and that’s how I’ve stayed here. It’s hard to swallow.”

Franklin would not discuss what he tested positive for, but he said he took supplements he bought at a nutrition store.

Franklin, 32, is 6-11 with a 4.61 earned-run average in 22 games, including 20 starts.

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Neither the team nor Manager Mike Hargrove would comment.

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The San Francisco Giants designated outfielder Marquis Grissom for assignment, the same day the club introduced new outfielder Randy Winn, acquired in a trade with Seattle on Saturday.

The Giants have 10 days to trade, release or send Grissom, 38, outright to the minors. He has been bothered by a strained left hamstring.

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The New York Yankees have decided not to pick up the $15-million club option for next season on Bernie Williams, 36, their center fielder on four World Series title teams.

The club had until Aug. 1 to exercise their option on Williams, who signed with the Yankees in 1985.

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Travis Hafner was expected to be activated Tuesday from the 15-day disabled list, but the designated hitter and first baseman of the Cleveland Indians hasn’t recovered enough from a concussion.

Hafner hasn’t played in the majors since being hit in the face July 16 with a pitch from Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox.

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Infielder Placido Polanco and the Detroit Tigers agreed to an $18.4-million, four-year contract extension through the 2009 season.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Drug suspensions

Players suspended for 10 days in 2005 for violating Major League Baseball’s drug program:

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* April 3 -- OF Alex Sanchez, Tampa Bay

* April 11 -- OF Jorge Piedra, Colorado

* April 20 -- RHP Agustin Montero, Texas

* April 26 -- OF Jamal Strong, Seattle

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* May 2 -- RHP Juan Rincon, Minnesota

* July 8 -- RHP Rafael Betancourt, Cleveland

* Aug. 1 -- 1B Rafael Palmeiro, Baltimore

* Aug. 2 -- RHP Ryan Franklin, Seattle

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Associated Press


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