- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 19, 2005

From combined dispatches

Major League Baseball, take note: Congress will be keeping a close eye on you.

Far from satisfied after an 11-hour hearing about steroids, lawmakers said yesterday they will consider drawing up legislation to make changes to baseball’s drug-testing policy if the sport fails to act on its own.

“Management and the players never stepped up to the plate,” said Rep. Henry Waxman, California Democrat. “It became clear that baseball remains in denial about the scope of the problem and the defects in its deeply flawed testing policy. ‘Trust baseball’ isn’t going to work anymore.”

Waxman is the ranking Democrat on the House Government Reform Committee, which summoned baseball players and executives to Capitol Hill on Thursday for what turned into a daylong show.

Retired slugger Mark McGwire repeatedly refused to say under oath whether he took steroids, baseball commissioner Bud Selig said the game didn’t have a major steroid problem and lawmakers threatened federal legislation to govern drug testing in baseball and possibly all U.S. sports.

“The members of Congress were as upset at the end of the hearing as they were at the beginning,” said committee member Mark Souder, Indiana Republican.

McGwire’s testimony was still a big topic. Committee member William Lacy Clay, Missouri Democrat, wants McGwire’s name removed from a highway in Missouri. The head of the World Anti-Doping Agency called the former slugger’s evasions tantamount to an admission of steroid use. And Christopher Shays, Connecticut Republican, put it most bluntly: “Is there any doubt in your mind that Mark McGwire took drugs?”

But the lawmakers also had more on their minds.

A spokesman for chairman Tom Davis, Virginia Republican, said the committee “will be closely monitoring” whether Selig and union head Donald Fehr make changes to the drug plan owners and players drew up in January after pressure from Congress.

Peavy strains groin

PEORIA, Ariz. — San Diego Padres ace Jake Peavy strained his groin against the Texas Rangers and could be out for two weeks.

The Padres will know more after Peavy is re-evaluated today. He definitely will miss his next start, trainer Todd Hutcheson said.

“He won’t pitch in five days,” Hutcheson said.

The 23-year-old Peavy, who went 15-6 and led the major leagues with a 2.27 ERA last year, was one out from finishing his scheduled five innings when he hurt his left groin while retiring Andres Torres on a fly ball for the second out.

Cardinals’ Sanders out

JUPITER, Fla. — St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Reggie Sanders was recovering after an appendectomy, and the Cardinals don’t know when he will return to the lineup.

The Cardinals said that players who had the operation in the past were generally out for a couple weeks.

Sanders reported to camp Thursday morning and complained of stomach pain. He was evaluated by the team’s medical staff and diagnosed with acute appendicitis.

Sanders, entering his 15th season in the majors, hit .260 with 22 homers and 67 RBI last year in helping lead the Cardinals to the World Series.

Royals tab Lima

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Jose Lima will start for the Kansas City Royals on Opening Day on April 4 at Detroit.

It will be the first season-opening start for the 32-year-old right-hander, and it will come in the city where his major league career almost ended.

The Tigers cut him loose in September 2002, and he opened the 2003 season pitching for the Newark Bears, an independent minor league team. Picked up by the Royals in June that year, he went 8-3 for Kansas City down the stretch.

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