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Sweeney says he has no problem with Bonds

From the Associated Press

Mark Sweeney showed up at spring training in Scottsdale, Ariz., ready to talk strictly baseball, not the report that teammate Barry Bonds blamed a failed amphetamines test last season on something he obtained from Sweeney’s locker.

Sweeney says there are no issues between them and he isn’t harboring hard feelings toward Bonds, who is scheduled to work out for the first time today.

“Everything’s been fine,” said Sweeney, who received a public apology from Bonds. “It was over and done with. It’s time to move on and talk about baseball, which has been good. Barry and I have been fine.... That’s how I am. I’m back to it. Everyone is in here. It’s not about me and Barry. It’s about everybody.”

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On the first day of his fourth season with the New York Yankees, Alex Rodriguez acknowledged that his relationship with Derek Jeter has cooled.

After saying for three years that they remained close, Rodriguez said it was “important” to him to publicly confirm what others have said since he joined the team.

“People start assuming that things are a lot worse than what they are, which they’re not. But they’re obviously not as great as they used to be. We were like blood brothers,” Rodriguez said. “You don’t have to go to dinner with a guy four, five times a week to do what you’re doing. It’s actually much better than all you guys expect, but I just want to let the truth be known.”

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Bernie Williams was nowhere to be seen, and Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman doesn’t think that will change.

“It appears he made his decision. That’s all I can take from it,” Cashman said. “I’m assuming at this stage that he’s not coming.”

Manager Joe Torre said Sunday that Williams was hurt the Yankees didn’t offer him a guaranteed spot on their roster.

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The latest Manny Ramirez mystery surfaced when teammate Julian Tavarez said his close friend would arrive late at spring training and Boston Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said that might not be true.

Tavarez said the left fielder would report March 1 as he did last year, when he received permission from the Red Sox to show up late.

“That’s unfair because I haven’t talked to [Ramirez]. There’s a lot of, ‘he said, she said,’ that I’m not too sure is true,” Francona said.

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Texas Rangers closer Eric Gagne threw from a mound for the first time at spring training, completing a 37-pitch session with no complications at Surprise, Ariz.


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