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Thursday, November 3, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

MLB notebook: Lawton fails steroids test

NEW YORK — Former All-Star outfielder Matt Lawton was suspended Wednesday for a positive steroids test, becoming the 12th player penalized for violating baseball's policy.

Lawton, acquired by the Yankees from the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 27 and then left off New York's postseason roster, became a free agent last Thursday. He will serve a 10-day suspension at the start of next season.

"I made a terrible and foolish mistake that I will regret for the rest of my life," Lawton said in a statement that he read over the telephone to The Associated Press. "I take full responsibility for my actions and did not appeal my suspension. I apologize to the fans, the game, my family and all those people that I let down. I am truly sorry and deeply regret my terrible lapse in judgment."

Lawton, 34, said the positive test occurred after he was acquired by the Yankees but did not answer other questions.

The substance he tested positive for was the veterinary steroid boldenone, according to a source.

An All-Star with Minnesota in 2000 and Cleveland in 2004, Lawton hit .254 with 13 homers and 53 runs batted in last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cubs and Yankees.

Reds to be sold

CINCINNATI — Carl Lindner agreed to sell his controlling interest in the Cincinnati Reds to a group of area businessmen, keeping baseball's first professional franchise in local hands.

The group is headed by Robert Castellini, chairman of a Cincinnati-based produce company, and relatives of the Williams family that owned the team when it became the Big Red Machine in the 1970s.

Gillick introduced

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PHILADELPHIA — Pat Gillick has turned losing teams into winners everywhere he's been, including Seattle. His job now is to build a champion from a team that hasn't been able to get over the top.

Gillick, whose résumé includes two World Series titles and nine playoff appearances with three teams, signed a three-year contract to become the Philadelphia Phillies' new general manager. He replaces Ed Wade, fired after failing to get the team into the playoffs in eight years on the job.

Gillick, 68, has been a special consultant for the Mariners the past two seasons after stepping down as general manager.

Notes

• The scrutiny over Alex Rodriguez's visits to illegal poker dens in New York has caused some of the gambling hot spots to close. Owners and players fear their underground network has become targeted by cops.

• Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux won his 15th Gold Glove, one shy of the record shared by pitcher Jim Kaat and third baseman Brooks Robinson. San Francisco shortstop Omar Vizquel won his 10th Gold Glove, his first in the NL after the nine straight he earned with the Cleveland Indians.

• Reliever Mike Timlin and the Boston Red Sox agreed to a one-year contract worth about $3.25 million.

• Pirates left-hander Mark Redman exercised his $4.5 million player option for 2006 after Pittsburgh declined its $4.95 million team option.

• Former Baltimore manager Lee Mazzilli rejoined the New York Yankees as Joe Torre's bench coach.

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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