ARLINGTON, Texas - Luis Gonzalez is still smarting from the embarrassment of being associated through team comments with major league baseball’s drug issues, and he said Saturday he would like to clear the air with Diamondbacks management.

“I’d like to know what the hell was going on,’’ Gonzalez said.

“This is the last year of my contract, and to throw me under the bus like that . . . I’d much prefer to be hit head-on than from the back side. I just kind of wish that somebody from our management would explain to me what was going on, or why.

“After the whole thing came out, none of those guys have really have come up to me and talked to me. I’ve been there eight years,’’ Gonzalez said.

D-Backs managing partner Ken Kendrick created a furor when he was quoted as saying he could understand how Gonzalez’s name might surface in rumors about illegal drug use because his 2001 home run total of 57 was so far above his totals before or after.

When informed of Gonzalez’s comments Saturday night, Kendrick said he would seek to speak to Gonzalez.

“If Luis thinks he needs anything more from me, I would be glad to talk to him about it,’’ Kendrick said.

“If he has any concerns or problems with me, I’d like to know and try to deal with them. I’m sorry he has any bad feelings, and I would hope that he wouldn’t.’’

Kendrick said he attempted to speak to Gonzalez’s wife, Christine, on Friday but got voice mail.

Kendrick apologized to Gonzalez in front of the team in a clubhouse meeting Thursday, saying, “I told him how much respect I have for him as a player and in our community.’’

Gonzalez on Saturday said “the damage was already done. ESPN did a segment on it, showed my press conference. That’s not something I want to be known for.

“You don’t have to accuse when you bring somebody’s name up like that. It automatically gets thrown in. He didn’t have to say that. Once your name is associated with something like that. . . .”

General manager Josh Byrnes and manager Bob Melvin have been supportive through the last several days, Gonzalez said.

“It’s almost like the case last year with Todd Helton,’’ said Gonzalez, referring to a former Colorado broadcaster who said that the Rockies first baseman used an illegal substance.

Gonzalez and the D-Backs have a mutual $10 million option for 2007.

SHORT HOPS

The Diamondbacks have contacted other major league teams about right-hander Russ Ortiz but have found no interest after designating him for assignment Tuesday.

The D-Backs have until Thursday to waive, trade or release Ortiz, and they plan to use the full 10-day period to work the phones, perhaps with another team dissatisfied with a player who has a big contract. . . .

The players’ association and major league baseball officials are attempting to work out a deal in the Jason Grimsley salary dispute that would avoid arbitration, the New York Daily News reported Saturday.

The D-Backs have said they will not pay the $527,000 remaining on Grimsley’s $825,000 contact because Grimsley asked for his release, but the basic agreement stipulates a released player is entitled to the remainder of his salary. The union has filed a grievance on Grimsley’s behalf. . . .

Terry Mulholland will be eligible to come off the disabled list Monday but will not join the team then, Melvin said.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.