SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – If the New York Yankees’ four-game losing streak isn’t bad enough, now they are being sued.
The Yankees’ former scouting director in this baseball hotbed has filed a $3 million lawsuit against the team for firing him amid a probe of alleged bonus skimming from a top teenage prospect.
Ramon Valdivia, one of two scouts fired last year during a Major League Baseball investigation of skimming from contracts with Latin American players, said Wednesday he is seeking damages against the Yankees to restore his name and hopefully pave the way for his return to baseball.
“I have nothing against the Yankees,” Valdivia said Wednesday. “I don’t have anything against the Major Leagues either, to have accused me in its investigation. I believe that I have demonstrated that I did not steal anything and I want to return to work in baseball.”
Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo declined to comment on the lawsuit.
New York, however, may get Alex Rodriguez back soon.
The All-Star third baseman slid for the first time since hip surgery, going 1-for-5 with a walk Wednesday in a New York Yankees extended spring training game.
Rodriguez said he doesn’t know whether he’ll rejoin the Yankees on Friday in Baltimore, but manager Joe Girardi sounded optimistic that the three-time AL MVP will be back.
Around the leagues
• The six teams the Los Angeles Dodgers have played so far – San Francisco, Colorado, San Diego, Arizona, Houston and Washington – have a combined record of 66-94 and none of them is over 500. The Dodgers have outscored teams 88-32 at their home field, Chavez Ravine.
• The Blue Jays became the first American League team to reach 20 victories and increased their lead in the AL East to two games over Boston.
• Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman extended his franchise-record hitting streak to 24 games with a single in the first inning Wednesday against the Dodgers.
• Seattle’s Ken Griffey Jr. returned the lineup and doubled against Kansas City in his first at-bat after missing three games with stomach pain.
• The Phillies wasted an excellent performance from previously struggling starter Chan Ho Park, who allowed one hit in six shutout innings in a 1-0 loss to the New York Mets.
• In an 8-6 loss to Atlanta, the Florida Marlins extended a club-record streak of 19 consecutive games without a win by a starting pitcher. Rookie Graham Taylor (0-2) lasted only 2 1-3 innings and allowed eight runs.
• Pirates starter Zach Duke (3-3) gave up four runs in 5 1-3 innings in a 4-2 loss to St. Louis – his shortest outing of the season. Pittsburgh has lost eight of nine.