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MLB Roundup: Piazza denies steroids use; Giambi signs with Indians

The SportsXchange

Former All-Star catcher Mike Piazza denied using steroids in a new book that is being released next week. Excerpts from Piazza's book, "Long Shot," were published Saturday by the New York Times.

"It shouldn't be assumed that every big hitter of the generation used steroids," Piazza wrote. "I didn't."

Piazza did admit to taking androstenedione until controversy stemmed from Mark McGwire's use of it and baseball later banned it. He also wrote that he used amphetamines a few times until they were banned in 2006. While with the New York Mets, Piazza looked into human growth hormone but decided not to use it after former team trainer Fred Hina told him it was not a good idea.

Piazza recently said that he delayed release of the book until after the Hall of Fame voting because he did not want to appear like he was campaigning for induction. He got 57.8 percent of the vote. At least 75 percent is required. The voting was announced Jan. 9.

--Free agent first baseman Jason Giambi signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians, the team announced Saturday night. He was invited to the Indians' spring training with a chance to make the season-opening roster.

Giambi, 42, interviewed for the Colorado Rockies' managerial job after last season, then discussed the hitting coach job with the team. In end, the Rockies hired Walt Weiss as manager and Dante Bichette as hitting coach, so Giambi apparently will continue his playing career.

The 2000 American League MVP for the Oakland A's, Giambi spent the past 3 1/2 seasons as a reserve for the Rockies. He hit .225 with one homer and eight RBI in 89 at-bats for Colorado last year.

--Boston Red Sox outfielder prospect Bryce Brentz accidentally shot himself in the leg while cleaning his gun, the Boston Globe reported.

General manager Ben Cherington told the Globe that Brentz could be ready to play by the end of spring training. Earlier, Brentz told WEEI.com that he would miss spring training because of the accident in early January but did not specify the exact nature of the injury.

Brentz, 24, was a supplemental first-round pick of the Red Sox in 2010 and made it to Class AAA Pawtucket last year. He has a .276 batting average over three years in the minor leagues. He is the Red Sox's No. 8 ranked prospect, according to Baseball America.
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