Tainted trainer Angel (Nao) Presinal, who has been barred from Major League Baseball clubhouses since 2002 but served on the staff of the Dominican Republic's World Baseball Classic team in 2006, will be banned from locker rooms and other restricted areas when the international baseball tournament begins on March 5.
Presinal led Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and other big leaguers who will represent the Dominican Republic in next month's WBC in an informal workout last month in Boca Chica, baseball sources told the Daily News Friday. Presinal was the Dominican team's trainer during the 2006 WBC, and a source close to the scandal-stained trainer said he still expects to work for the Dominican Republic squad next month.
Other baseball sources, however, say Presinal will not be issued a credential for this year's tournament. Officials didn't know that Presinal had been issued a credential - giving him access to clubhouses, weight rooms and other restricted areas - until after the 2006 tournament. It is a mistake that won't happen again, the sources said.
Major League Baseball, its Players Association and WBC organizers have final say over who is credentialed.
The News reported Friday that A-Rod's relationship with Presinal dates as far back as 2003. The Yankee third baseman and the trainer traveled together extensively in 2007, although Rodriguez avoided being seen in public with Presinal. A scout said Rodriguez was spotted with Presinal in New York and Miami as recently as last fall.
Rodriguez would not even confirm that he knew the trainer Friday. "No reaction," A-Rod said after being asked about the Daily News report.
As The News reported in 2006, Presinal had traveled to Toronto with the Cleveland Indians as Juan Gonzalez's personal trainer in 2001 when Canadian authorities found a bag at the airport containing steroids and hypodermic needles. Officials shipped the bag to the Indians' hotel to see who would claim it.
The bag was picked up by Presinal, who said it belonged to Gonzalez, then an outfielder for the Indians and later A-Rod's teammate with the Texas Rangers.
Presinal was banned from MLB clubhouses after the incident, although he was later seen and ejected from locker rooms in Texas, Seattle and Cleveland.
Rodriguez said he is currently working only with Yankees strength coach Dana Cavalea. Both general manager Brian Cashman and manager Joe Girardi said that while the Yankees can't prevent players from working with outside trainers, they were concerned about unsavory people.