2005 March

2ndThe Veterans Committee fails to elect anyone to the Hall of Fame. Gil Hodges and Ron Santo come closest, each receiving 65 percent of the vote. A mark of 75 percent is needed for election.

Jackie Robinson is posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, more than a half century after breaking baseball’s color barrier. Robinson is the second baseball player ever to get the award. The first was Roberto Clemente in 1973.

9thThe Cardinals Rick Ankiel announces his retirement as a pitcher in order to pursue a career as an outfielder. The often wild Ankiel was sent to the minors after a rough outing on May 10, 2001, missed all of 2002 season because of a left elbow strain, missed much of 2003 after Tommy John surgery and pitched 10 innings for St. Louis in 2004. He’ll hit 21 homers in 85 games this year in the minors.

17thSeveral prominent modern day major league players testify before a House hearing on steroid use in the major leagues. Former HR king Mark McGwire refuses to deny he used the illegal substances, repeatedly saying he’s “not here to talk about the past.” Rafael Palmeiro comes off the best, condemning steroid use and wagging his finger at the Senators saying, “he’s never taken them.”

20thThe Mets trade C Jason Phillips to the Dodgers for P Kaz Ishii and cash considerations.

21stCubs relief prospect Bob Borkowski has his arm fractured by a line drive in a 12-5 Grapefruit league loss to KC.  Borkowski was recovering from a partially torn rotator cuff injury that ended his 2004 season last June.

22ndThe Red Sox send OF Adam Hyzdu to the Padres. In return, SD ships P Blaine Neal to Boston.

During a 10-minute impromptu press conference Barry Bonds uses the word “tired” 14 times and raises the issue of his retirement, blaming the press for his troubles.  Bonds, using crutches after his second knee operation in two months, continues to be plagued with questions about steroids. And two days ago, Kimberly Bell talked about her nine-year relationship with the married Bonds, saying he used steroids, gave her $80,000 he received for signing baseballs, and told her how to deposit the money to avoid detection.

24thIn Tucson, a swarm of bees interrupts a Cactus League game between the Rockies and the  Diamondbacks. The bees chase Rocks pitcher Darren Oliver from the mound and the game is delayed 20 minutes.  Oliver thinks it is the coconut oil gel in his hair that attracted them. By the time play is resumed the bees have spread all over the field and SS Sergio Santos is chased to deep center field. The game is called after five innings.

In Jupiter, Cards PH Rick Ankiel hits an 8thinning double in a 5-1 win over the Nationals. It is Ankiel’s first hit since switching from pitching to playing the outfield.

28thThe Astros get C Humberto Quintero from the Padres in exchange for P Tim Redding and cash.

29thThe Angels obtain P Bret Prinz from the Yankees for C Wil Nieves.

The Cardinals send lefty Mike Myers to the Red Sox. In return, St. Louis receives OF Carlos de la Cruz and P Kevin Ool.

The Indians trade P Cliff Bartosh to the Cubs for P Ronald Bay.

The Mets get IF Benji Gil from the Mariners for cash.

30thThe Pirates get C David Ross from the Dodgers for cash.

The Rockies obtain P Byung-Hyun Kim from the Red Sox in a trade for P Chris Narveson, C Charles Johnson, and cash.

31st The Devil Rays acquire IF Nick Green from the Braves for P Jorge Sosa.