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 this year.
The Sun in Baltimore, citing unidentified sources, reported Thursday that Palmeiro had identified a teammate by name when he testified before baseball's arbitration panel in an attempt to overturn the suspension, which followed a positive test for stanozolol.
"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 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 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.
"I would think if you're under oath, you tell the truth," Perlozzo said. "Isn't that what you're supposed to do?"
Palmeiro's situation is complicated, so Perlozzo wanted the front office to make the decision.
"A lot of things factor in," he said. "Is he going to play or is he not going to play? How much is he going to play? And is it worthwhile to take that chance?"
Arn Tellem, Palmeiro's agent, did not return a telephone call seeking comment. House Government Reform Committee spokesman Dave Marin declined comment.
Palmeiro, who turns 41 on Saturday, is batting .266 with 18 homers and 60 RBI. He got his 3,000th hit on July 15, joining Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray as the only players with 3,000 hits and 500 homers. Palmeiro's 569 homers rank him ninth on the career list.
Baseball has not said when the positive test occurred.