Cervelli regrets visiting South Florida clinic
Yankees catcher reiterates he only sought suggestions in treatment of broken foot
TAMPA, Fla. -- Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli addressed his link to a South Florida clinic under investigation by Major League Baseball, saying that he visited once and has never used performance-enhancing drugs.
Cervelli confirmed on Wednesday that he did meet with Anthony Bosch, the founder of the now-shuttered Biogenesis facility in Coral Gables, Fla., in hopes of finding a quick remedy for a fractured left foot suffered during Spring Training in 2011.
"When I got my foot injured in 2011, I checked with doctors and somebody recommended Biogenesis," Cervelli said. "I went there for maybe suggestions, and that's it. I walked away with nothing in my hands. I just went there, talked and that's it."
Cervelli said that he did not want to get into details about who recommended the Biogenesis clinic, but he said that it was not a player or an agent. He was linked to the clinic when it was reported that his name appears in Bosch's records.
He also said that he has "never" discussed Biogenesis with teammate Alex Rodriguez, and Cervelli said that "it was kind of surprising" to learn that Rodriguez had also been linked to the clinic.
"I was surprised, with all the names and everything," Cervelli said. "Because I don't know other players that went there, I just know about myself, and that's it. I'm not worried because I'm here. [If] I tell the truth, I have nothing to hide."
Cervelli said that he received no assistance or therapy from Bosch or Biogenesis, and that he was not offered performance-enhancing drugs during his visit. He said that he regrets asking for the clinic's opinions.
"At that moment, I didn't know what kind of clinic it was," Cervelli said. "I take my responsibility. Nobody put a gun in my head to go there."
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he did not see a need to speak with Cervelli about his involvement.
"As of right now, no, but I'll watch as we start to play games and we go through all this in Spring Training," Girardi said. "If I feel he's distracted, I'll say something to him, but I watched him go about his work today and he seemed pretty good to me."
Cervelli said that he has not spoken to investigators from MLB but is willing to cooperate if asked.
"They're going to do what they have to do, and that's it," Cervelli said. "They come to me, I will talk to them, but that's it. I'm here, focused on baseball."
Cervelli said that he is not thinking about the possibility of a drug-related suspension or other distractions interrupting his spring.
"Look at me," said Cervelli, a career .271 hitter with five home runs in 490 big league at-bats. "You check the [statistics]. I know it doesn't matter, but you look at the numbers, everything -- I don't use that stuff."
The Yankees are heading into camp viewing Cervelli as a possible front-runner to serve as their starting catcher. Chris Stewart and Austin Romine will also compete to handle the duties starting April 1 against the Red Sox.
"I've been with the Yankees for 10 years already," Cervelli said. "This is my dream, since Day 1, to be a starting catcher. I will be here, doing what I know, having fun, doing things right. I know my situation right now -- no distractions. I just came here to play baseball."