Notes: Palmeiro's season is over

Notes: Palmeiro's season is over

NEW YORK -- Executive vice president Jim Beattie said Thursday night that Rafael Palmeiro will not return to the field this season, likely ending his career as an Oriole.

Palmeiro had been rehabilitating knee and ankle injuries in Texas and maintained last week he wanted to return to action for the Orioles' final 10 games of the season. Beattie and vice president Mike Flanagan met with Palmeiro on Thursday and decided for the best interest of the team that he would not play again in 2005.

Palmeiro, who reached the 3,000-hit plateau July 15, served a 10-day suspension for a positive steroid test from Aug. 1-10, clouding his legacy and causing a major distraction in the clubhouse.

"It is my understanding is that I think he will return to Baltimore, but I don't think he will be dressing out again," Beattie said. "[We made this decision] for a variety of reasons. One, he would not play very much, if at all. And for him to get back into the flow of things would take some time, and then, obviously, the distraction of bringing all this back into the clubhouse.

"It's better off for these guys to be allowed to play out the season with as little distraction as they can. It's been a long season with respect to that."

Palmeiro likely would have been welcomed back to the clubhouse by his teammates, but a Baltimore Sun report Thursday quoted an unidentified source as saying Palmeiro told an arbitration panel during his appeal to Major League Baseball that an unidentified Oriole gave him a substance (stanozolol) that could have triggered the positive test.

It was rumored that the name mentioned was shortstop Miguel Tejada. But the Health Policy Advisory Committee, the governing body for baseball's drug-testing policy, cleared Tejada of any wrongdoing, stating that Tejada only gave Palmeiro a syringe of vitamin B-12, which is legal.

Congress, meanwhile, is continuing its investigation as to whether Palmeiro lied under oath on March 17 when he told the House Government Reform Committee that he never used steroids. Orioles head trainer Richie Bancells acknowledged that he had been contacted by Congress regarding Palmeiro.

Players union representative Jay Gibbons said he is unsure whether players have been contacted, but said he would "probably" know if they were.

"I haven't been contacted," he said. "Nobody has talked to me. That's all I know. It's not going to be a big secret."

Before the final decision, Gibbons said Palmeiro returning under the cloud of accusations of a teammate would be difficult.

"I don't know what he said," Gibbons said. "I don't know if anybody gave him anything. I don't think it would help [if he returned] -- put it that way -- if you said another teammate gave you something. Sometimes you have to look in the mirror and take responsibility for your actions. I'm disappointed, to say the least, if that's true.

"I heard something [regarding accusations] a while back, and like I said, it's a little disappointing. But it's one thing when somebody gives you something. But the substance that was found, it's kind of hard to say, 'I didn't know what I was taking.'"

Perlozzo said he informed Palmeiro earlier on Thursday that the decision has been taken out of the slugger's hands.

"I talked to him yesterday," Perlozzo said. "I know that he still would like to come back. But I told him as far as I'm concerned, it's an organizational decision."

When asked whether it would be wise to allow Palmeiro to return if the accusations were true, Perlozzo said: "If in fact that was true, then it probably would not be a good idea. But it's speculation as far as I know."

Perlozzo said he did not ask Palmeiro whether he implicated a teammate during their conversation.

"I didn't think that was my job," he said before Thursday's 7-6 loss. "I'm sure that Jim, [owner] Peter [Angelos] and Mike are taking the proper measure to do what's best for the club."

Roberts update: Second baseman Brian Roberts took a train back to Baltimore on Thursday and will be examined by team physician Dr. Andrew Cosgarea on Friday. Roberts was fitted for a new cast and is still experiencing a great deal of discomfort, according to Perlozzo.

Roberts sustained a dislocated left elbow along with a torn tendon and ulnar collateral ligament on a collision Tuesday with the Yankees' Bubby Crosby.

Boston series: The pitching matchups have been announced for the three-game Boston series beginning Friday at Camden Yards. Right-hander Daniel Cabrera (10-11, 4.68 ERA) takes on right-hander Bronson Arroyo (13-9, 4.31 ERA) in the opener; left-hander Erik Bedard (6-7, 3.78 ERA) opposes right-hander Matt Clement (13-6, 4.65 ERA) on Saturday while right-hander John Maine (2-2, 4.76 ERA) faces left-hander David Wells (13-7, 4.49 ERA).

Gary Washburn is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.