New York Yankees slugger Darryl Strawberry, who was suspended from baseball for a year because of cocaine use, has taken a positive step. "By the time you read this statement," the eight-time All-Star said in an announcement sent to the Yankees' spring training in Tampa, Fla., yesterday, "I will have checked myself into a drug rehabilitation clinic, where I intend to be for the foreseeable future." This was Strawberry's first statement since baseball commissioner Bud Selig imposed the suspension on Monday. Strawberry did not say where he is being treated. "My goal is to take control of my drug addiction once and for all, and I believe this step is required in order to do so." This is not Strawberry's first brush with rehab. In 1990, he checked into an alcoholic treatment center in Manhattan. In 1994, he spent a month at the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, Calif., to deal with substance abuse.
- Another baseball player in trouble, John Rocker, has seen his punishment for making racial slurs (which appeared in a SPORTS ILLUSTRATED interview) reduced. His 28-day suspension is now 14 days, and his $20,000 fine is $500. He is expected to return to the Atlanta Braves spring training session today, where he reportedly intends to begin repairing the relationships he wrecked over the past few months.