Thursday, February 26, 2004
Restrictions include weight rooms
NEW YORK -- Baseball is cracking down on who's allowed in the clubhouse.
Eight days after Barry Bonds' personal trainer was indicted on
charges of distributing illegal steroids, commissioner Bud Selig
sent a memorandum to the 30 teams banning personal trainers,
friends and agents from "all playing fields, dugouts, clubhouses
and related facilities."
The memorandum, dated Feb. 20 and issued under the names of
Selig and baseball executive vice president Sandy Alderson, was
sent to all 30 teams and was obtained by The Associated Press. In a
telephone interview Thursday, Alderson also said personal trainers
will be banned from ballpark weight rooms.
While it didn't mention the steroid probe directly, the memo
said "recent events have reinforced the need to consistently and
uniformly enforce regulations limiting clubhouse access."
Alderson wouldn't say the memo was directly linked to the
steroid probe. "We'll let the term 'recent events' stand on its
own," he said.
"All club employees must be made aware of the importance of
denying clubhouse access to unauthorized persons," the memo said.
"Friends, associates, agents, attorneys, personal trainers, etc.
may not be granted access to the restricted areas."
Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, was frequently in the Giants
clubhouse. Anderson pleaded not guilty to the federal charges, and
Bonds repeatedly has denied using steroids.
"A uniform enforcement of the security standards is crucial to
maintaining a safe working environment," Selig said in a
statement. "There will be absolutely no exceptions to these
regulations. and major league clubs will be held responsible if
they are not enforced."
While baseball increased security following the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist attacks, teams have had differing enforcement policies.
"We had these basic limitations in place for some time, and
compliance has actually been pretty good across the board,"
Alderson said. "There's nothing new in terms of policy
restrictions, but we will be more involved in enforcement."
Yankees manager Joe Torre has allowed friends into his office,
such as Billy Crystal and Marvin Hamlisch.
St. Louis manager Tony La Russa has allowed Texas Tech
basketball coach Bob Knight, a friend, in the St. Louis dugout and
clubhouse before games, and during spring training last year Knight
sat with La Russa and coaches on a bench just outside the dugout
during a game.
Jason Giambi's trainer, Bobby Alejo, was allowed on charter
flights in 2002 and 2003; he was on the team's payroll as a
batting practice pitcher in 2002. While he was banned from the
clubhouse for much of last season, he was allowed to work with
Giambi in the weight room.
Alderson said that if personal trainers are put on a team's
payroll, "we will look at each of those cases individually on
their respective merits and make a determination of that basis."
Harvey Shields, another of Bonds' trainers, also has frequented
the clubhouse since 2000. He stretches out the six-time NL MVP
before games, and Bonds said this week he thought Shields will
still be around.
"I have to get ready for games," Bonds said. "People have to
realize our body is our machine."
The memo says teams may determine individual policies for
clubhouse access by "immediate family," defined as parents,
siblings and children.
In addition, "caterers and food vendors must provide written
certification that background investigations have been conducted
for all staff who will have access to the clubhouse."