Restrictions include weight rooms

Updated: February 26, 2004, 10:16 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Baseball is cracking down on who's allowed in the clubhouse.

Eight days after Barry Bonds' personal trainer was indicted on charges of distributing illegal steroids, commissioner Bud Selig sent a memorandum to the 30 teams banning personal trainers, friends and agents from "all playing fields, dugouts, clubhouses and related facilities."

The memorandum, dated Feb. 20 and issued under the names of Selig and baseball executive vice president Sandy Alderson, was sent to all 30 teams and was obtained by The Associated Press. In a telephone interview Thursday, Alderson also said personal trainers will be banned from ballpark weight rooms.

While it didn't mention the steroid probe directly, the memo said "recent events have reinforced the need to consistently and uniformly enforce regulations limiting clubhouse access."

Alderson wouldn't say the memo was directly linked to the steroid probe. "We'll let the term 'recent events' stand on its own," he said.

"All club employees must be made aware of the importance of denying clubhouse access to unauthorized persons," the memo said. "Friends, associates, agents, attorneys, personal trainers, etc. may not be granted access to the restricted areas."

Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, was frequently in the Giants clubhouse. Anderson pleaded not guilty to the federal charges, and Bonds repeatedly has denied using steroids.

"A uniform enforcement of the security standards is crucial to maintaining a safe working environment," Selig said in a statement. "There will be absolutely no exceptions to these regulations. and major league clubs will be held responsible if they are not enforced."

While baseball increased security following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, teams have had differing enforcement policies.

"We had these basic limitations in place for some time, and compliance has actually been pretty good across the board," Alderson said. "There's nothing new in terms of policy restrictions, but we will be more involved in enforcement."

Yankees manager Joe Torre has allowed friends into his office, such as Billy Crystal and Marvin Hamlisch.

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa has allowed Texas Tech basketball coach Bob Knight, a friend, in the St. Louis dugout and clubhouse before games, and during spring training last year Knight sat with La Russa and coaches on a bench just outside the dugout during a game.

Jason Giambi's trainer, Bobby Alejo, was allowed on charter flights in 2002 and 2003; he was on the team's payroll as a batting practice pitcher in 2002. While he was banned from the clubhouse for much of last season, he was allowed to work with Giambi in the weight room.

Alderson said that if personal trainers are put on a team's payroll, "we will look at each of those cases individually on their respective merits and make a determination of that basis."

Harvey Shields, another of Bonds' trainers, also has frequented the clubhouse since 2000. He stretches out the six-time NL MVP before games, and Bonds said this week he thought Shields will still be around.

"I have to get ready for games," Bonds said. "People have to realize our body is our machine."

The memo says teams may determine individual policies for clubhouse access by "immediate family," defined as parents, siblings and children.

In addition, "caterers and food vendors must provide written certification that background investigations have been conducted for all staff who will have access to the clubhouse."


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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