Orioles' Palmeiro gets mixed baseball fan greeting

Monday, August 15, 2005 Rafael Palmeiro, the Havana, Cuba born left-handed first baseman for the Major League Baseball team Baltimore Orioles, returned to play following a 10-game suspension after testing positive for banned steroids. Orioles interim manager Sam Perlozzo had Mr. Palmeiro wait three days in the dugout after his suspension before placing him in the play lineup.

His first appearance at bat at the Sunday contest in Camden Yards against the Toronto Blue Jays before a crowd of 30, 954 - a 64% capacity - was met with mixed reaction.

Mr. Palmeiro is under investigation for possible perjury after he testified under oath to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform on March 17, 2005 that, "I have never used steroids. Period."

"Raffy", his nickname among fans, was sixth at bat and designated hitter during the first inning and was walked by Blue Jays pitcher Miguel Batista.

Mr. Palmeiro, aged 40 and with a .277 batting average, is only the fourth baseball player to have at least 3,000 hits and more than 500 home runs during his career. He has earned the ire of fans and players alike because of contentions that his steroid usage enabled him to accomplish the rare feat.

Mr. Palmeiro's four at-bat appearances were less than stellar. He hit three grounders mid-game after being walked in the first inning.

Baltimore trailed the Blue Jays 7-6 with two men on base and two outs in the ninth inning when Mr. Palmeiro was sent to bat. He hit a fly ball which was caught by Blue Jay right-fielder Alex Rios, thus ending the game, making it the Blue Jays' fifth win in six games.

Afterwards, Mr. Palmeiro told reporters, "I just wanted to get a hit. My timing was off."

Coach Perlozzo commented about Mr. Palmeiro's appearance saying, "I'm sure it's a relief to get it out of the way. He's probably gone in there, taken a deep breath and gone, 'Whew, I'm glad that's over with. Now I can go ahead and play real baseball.' "

Related news

Palmeiro benched on return to Major League Baseball Wikinews, August 11, 2005