Originally created 02/28/04

Yankees close weight room to personal trainers



TAMPA, Fla. -- The New York Yankees banned players' personal trainers from their weight room in response to a new directive from the commissioner's office.

"I met with the club today and told them at this point in time we're shutting it down so we're in compliance," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday. "Personal trainers are now out of the weight room because that's the biggest focal point of this thing."

Just over a week after Barry Bonds' personal trainer was indicted on charges of distributing illegal steroids, commissioner Bud Selig sent a memorandum to the 30 teams banning personal trainers, friends and agents from "all playing fields, dugouts, clubhouses and related facilities."

"We've gotten liberal letting more people in that weren't your employees, and that creates difficulties," Cashman said. "This, obviously, in the long run will be better, but in the short run it will cause problems."

Jason Giambi's trainer, Bobby Alejo, was allowed on Yankees' charter flights in 2002 and 2003 - he was on the team's payroll as a batting practice pitcher in 2002. While he was banned from the clubhouse for much of last season, he was allowed to work with Giambi in the weight room.

"I'll talk with Cash, and address it with whoever we need to address it with, and see what goes on from there," Giambi said.

There has been no decision on whether to put Alejo back on the Yankees' payroll. Derek Jeter also has brought his trainer to the weight room.

"If adjustments are needed to take place, they will take place," Cashman said. "With the times, the commissioner is doing his best to make sure the game is portrayed in a positive light. This is one area there's a little bit of shadow on the game. He's making his best effort to shore that up."

Yankees manager Joe Torre has allowed friends into his office, such as Billy Crystal and Marvin Hamlisch.

"It certainly gives me an excuse not to have anybody in there," Torre said with a smile. "If that's the way it is, that's the way it is."

The memo says teams may determine individual policies for clubhouse access by "immediate family," defined as parents, siblings and children.

"Whatever you're told to do, you do" Torre said. "You can see where major league baseball is just trying to be as cautious and preventative as they can be."