Entries in MLB (5)


Barry Bonds Sentenced to Two Years Probation

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(SAN FRANCISCO) -- A federal judge sentenced former MLB slugger Barry Bonds to two years probation Friday, sparing the home run king time behind bars for his role in an investigation into sports doping among professional athletes.

In addition, the judge sentenced Bonds to 30 days of location monitoring, 250 hours of community service with youth groups, and issued the former MVP fines of more than $4,000.

Prosecutors requested Bonds serve 15 months in prison after providing misleading information to a grand jury for his alleged involvement in the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative steroid ring. Jurors found Bonds guilty in April of obstruction of justice but remained deadlocked on three counts he lied under oath that he knowingly took steroids supplied by BALCO.

Bonds, baseball's all-time leader with 756 home runs, was indicted on perjury and obstruction charges in 2007 after years of allegations he used steroids and performance-enhancing drugs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Wilson Ramos: Kidnapped MLB Player Rescued in Venezuela

Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post(WASHINGTON) -- Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, who was abducted earlier this week in his home country of Venezuela, is a free man today after officials rescued him in an air raid.

Ramos was found alive and safe Friday night, officials said.

Venezuelan security forces rescued Ramos 40 miles from his mother's home in Valencia.

Exactly how authorities found Ramos is unclear but officials say he was saved in an air raid where gunfire was exchanged. At least five kidnappers were arrested in connection with Ramos' abduction.

Ramos' mother was shown on television exclaiming, "Thanks to God!" After speaking to her son by phone, she said, "He's fine."

Ramos's family had been waiting to hear from kidnappers who abducted Ramos as police in Venezuela mounted an urgent nationwide search for the ballplayer.

Earlier on Friday night, fans of the Washington Nationals held a candlelight vigil for Ramos outside of their stadium.

Ramos, 24, was kidnapped at gunpoint in front of his family while visiting his mother's home in Venezuela. An eyewitness to the crime -- whose identity had to be protected -- described the chilling abduction.

"Suddenly and with no warning, I see the SUV stop and they're pointing at them with guns and the only thing they say is not to look at their faces," the witness said.

According to Justice Minister Tareck El Aissami, the vehicle used in the kidnapping was found abandoned in a nearby town. He said that anti-kidnapping units with top-notch investigators have been dispatched to central Carabobo state.

Major League Baseball and the Washington Nationals issued a joint statement Thursday stating that the organization's Department of Investigations was "working with the appropriate authorities on this matter."

"This was a targeted kidnapping, so they were aware of where he was. They knew the money he could produce, they probably knew how much baseball players make," Chris Voss, former FBI lead international kidnapping negotiator, told ABC News.

Ramos is an emerging star with the Washington Nationals, a natural whose fielding and power hitting propelled him into the role of starting catcher in only his rookie season.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


MLB Investigating Alex Rodriguez over Illegal Poker Allegations

Jason Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- New York Yankees superstar third baseman Alex Rodriguez is under investigation by Major League Baseball for his alleged involvement in illegal underground poker games.

One the games were reportedly held at a Beverley Hills mansion where cocaine was present and violence ensued, according to one report. The allegations, stemming from a report in Star Magazine, indicate Rodriguez tried to distance himself from the fight which broke out after one of the players lost more than a half-million dollars and tried to refuse to pay up.

Rodriguez, who is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery on his right knee, was warned by the Yankees and Commissioner Bud Selig in 2005 to avoid involvement with gambling and underground poker clubs.

"We take this very seriously and have been investigating this matter since the initial allegation," MLB said in a statement released Wednesday. "As part of the investigation, the commissioner's office will interview Mr. Rodriguez."

Rodriguez, 36, could face a suspension from baseball if the league confirms the allegations.

Richard Rubenstein, a public relations representative for Rodriguez told ABC News on Thursday, “The story contains numerous factual inaccuracies and Alex looks forward to cooperating with MLB in their investigation.”

Incidentally, the high stakes gaming ring to which A-Rod is alleged to be involved also reportedly included Hollywood celebrities like Ben Affleck and Tobey Maguire.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Texas Rangers to Raise Guard Rails in Wake of Fan's Death

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- The Texas Rangers say the ballclub will raise the level of all critical safety rails to “the highest standard in the United States at this time” after a fan fell 20 feet to his death earlier this month in an attempt to catch a baseball.

"The safety of our fans is our top priority," said Rangers president Nolan Ryan. "The initiatives we are announcing today for Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will help to ensure that we meet that priority."

In addition to the guard rail alterations, the team says it will post new signs and issue safety reminders via the public address system.

Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter, was trying to catch a baseball tossed into the stands by Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton when, in front of his 6-year-old son’s eyes, he tumbled over a railing and later died.

The incident, which was captured on video and quickly went viral, marked the second time this season that someone suffered a deadly fall at a major league baseball game.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Baseball Fan Saved from Near-Death Fall Admits 'Bad Judgment'

Keith Carmickle and his brother Kraig talk with ABC News about his narrow escape from a 20ft. fall while trying to catch a baseball. (ABC News)(NEW YORK) -- The Arizona baseball fan who narrowly escaped a 20-foot plunge while trying to catch a ball says all he recalls of the incident is the frantic screams of those around him and worries that his brother, who reached in to save his life, would be able to hold him. 

"I'm a 250-pound guy," Keith Carmickle, of Kingman, Ariz., said Wednesday on ABC’s Good Morning America. "The look in my brother's face just appeared like, 'Can we hold on to this guy?'"

Carmickle fell after climbing onto a table just 18 inches wide and leaning forward precariously over the railing in front of his right-field bleacher seats to try and catch a ball hit by Milwaukee Brewers star Prince Fielder during Major League Baseball's All-Star Home Run Derby at Chase Field, in Phoenix, on Monday night.

"I was using bad judgment on my part," Carmickle told GMA.

"When it came off the bat it seemed like it was coming directly at us," he said of the moments before the accident occurred. "I stepped up on the ladder and tumbled overboard before I realized what had even happened."

Carmickle fell over the railing headfirst before being grabbed by his brother, Kraig Carmickle, a friend, Aaron Nelson, and other spectators, who managed to save him from the estimated 20-foot fall to the stadium's pool deck.

Carmickle's near-death fall came on the same day as the funeral of Shannon Stone, a 39-year-old firefighter who fell to his death while trying to catch a ball for his young son thrown into the stands by Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton.

"I can only imagine what the Stone family is going through," said Kraig.

Stone's death and Carmickle's close call have raised questions about the safety of major league ballparks, and whether it is the fans who put themselves at risk by reaching for foul balls or the league and the teams who are not adequately protecting the fans.

Carmickle announced on GMA he'd be auctioning off two of the three balls they caught during the game on eBay, in an effort to raise money for Stone's family. They gave a third ball to a young baseball fan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio