Manager: It might be best if Palmeiro does not return

Posted: Friday, September 23, 2005

NEW YORK — Rafael Palmeiro’s season with the Baltimore Orioles might be over.

Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo said that if the first baseman had disclosed the name of a teammate who supplied him with the substance that led to Palmeiro’s suspension for steroid use, it probably would be best that Palmeiro not return to the team.

The Sun in Baltimore, citing unidentified sources, reported Thursday that Palmeiro had identified a teammate by name.

‘‘If in fact that was true, then it probably would not be a good idea’’ for Palmeiro to return, Perlozzo said Thursday before the Orioles played the New York Yankees. ‘‘It’s all speculation as far as I know.’’

Congressional investigators have been interviewing the Orioles following Palmeiro’s 10-day suspension, which began Aug. 1. Palmeiro went 2-for-26 with one RBI after his return, and was sent home by Baltimore on Sept. 5 for rehabilitation on his right knee and left ankle.

‘‘I know that he still would like to come back,’’ Perlozzo said. ‘‘He doesn’t want to be a distraction and all that. I pretty much told him that as far as I was concerned, it was an organizational decision.’’

Orioles executive vice president Jim Beattie said no decision would be made until Friday at the earliest.

‘‘We’re talking to Raffy right now about that,’’ Beattie said in a telephone interview. ‘‘Rather than comment on hearsay — I don’t think it’s a proper thing for me to do — we’ll wait and see when we get into the office.’’

Perlozzo didn’t discuss with Palmeiro what he may or may not have disclosed.

‘‘I did not ask him,’’ he said. ‘‘I didn’t think that was my job.’’

Perlozzo understood that if Palmeiro was questioned by investigators, he was bound by the rules if the inquiry.

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