SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Major League Baseball is investigating more than 40 cases involving Dominican Republic prospects suspected of lying about their age upon signing professional contracts, according to the league’s vice president of international affairs.

Lou Melendez said Wednesday the request came from the U.S. consulate in the Dominican Republic as a result of a new State Department policy.

Consulate spokesman David Searby said he could not immediately comment.

“They have asked us to investigate, and we have detected around 42 cases of possible irregularities related to the real age of these young men,” said Melendez, who also is Puerto Rico’s general manager during the World Baseball Classic.

The investigation began a week ago. Several Latino players have said they lied about their ages in recent years, including Vladimir Guerrero and Miguel Tejada. Melendez said players found lying about their age could face a cancellation or temporary revocation of their visas. The State Department would make that decision, he said.

Report: Clemens injected at Yankee Stadium

NEW YORK – Brian McNamee says he injected Roger Clemens with drugs at the Yankee Stadium hot tub and that among the needles he gave government investigators was one he used to inject the pitcher in 2001, according to the Web site sportsimproper.com.

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., is investigating whether Clemens lied when he told a congressional committee last year that he didn’t use illegal performance-enhancing substances. McNamee, Clemens’ former personal trainer, testified before the same committee and said he repeatedly injected Clemens with steroids and HGH.

“One of the needles I gave the government was used to inject Clemens with steroids in either July or August of 2001,” McNamee was quoted as saying by sportsimproper.com in an item posted Wednesday. “The place was his high-rise apartment, which is located off the corner of 90th Street and First Avenue in Manhattan. …

“That day, he laid out the drugs, dropped his trousers and I did as he asked, that is, inject him with steroids. Afterwards, he told me to get rid of the needle. I went into the kitchen and found an empty Miller Lite can in a wastebasket under the sink. I put the used needle into the can because it was actually hazardous material at that point and I didn’t want anyone to get hurt by sticking themselves. He told me to throw it away but I kept it instead.”

Ramirez set for Dodgers exhibition game debut

PHOENIX – Manny Ramirez is sore and joking that he might be older than his 37-year-old birth certificate reveals.

“I’m like 40 years old. How much longer can I do this?” Ramirez said Tuesday, loudly enough for Dodgers teammate Andre Ethier to hear. “There he is, Andre, the superstar of the team. He’s going to carry the load this year. I’m too old for that now.”

Ramirez was set to join the Los Angeles spring training lineup for Thursday’s exhibition against South Korea, eight days after agreeing to a $45 million, two-year contract that gives him the right to void the deal after one season.

Girardi: A-Rod doing well

TAMPA, Fla. – Alex Rodriguez is pleased with his recovery from arthroscopic hip surgery.

“He left me a message,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Wednesday. “He sounded good. Said: “I’m doing well.’ Good to hear from him.”

Girardi exchanged telephone messages with the star third baseman on Tuesday night.

Rodriguez had arthroscopic surgery Monday to repair torn cartilage in his right hip, and doctors said they found nothing that would keep him from returning to the lineup in May.


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