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Spiezio to seek treatment for substance abuse

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The Cardinals have removed infielder-outfielder Scott Spiezio from the active 25-man roster, and Spiezio has left the club to seek treatment for a substance-abuse problem, team and industry sources said.

Spiezio was moved to Major League Baseball's restricted list, according to the pre-game notes distributed by the Cardinals to media. The notes did not include any other information about Spiezio's situation.

Players on the restricted list usually are not paid, and they do not count toward the team's active-roster limits.

Spiezio's roster spot was filled when the Cardinals purchased the contract of outfielder Rick Ankiel from Triple-A Memphis today.

Cardinals physician Dr. George Paletta, noting that Spiezio voluntarily is entering the substance-abuse program, said in a prepared statement: "It speaks highly of Scott to come forward admitting recognition of a potential problem. This allows the organization to provide him access to the appropriate resources for further evaluation and treatment."

STLtoday.com will have more on this story as it develops.

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Here is STLtoday.com's earlier story about Spiezio's health, published Wednesday night:

Utilityman Scott Spiezio, who became nauseous after batting practice on Monday and had an IV that night, missed a third straight game on Wednesday and is being treated for an unspecified illness.

Manager Tony La Russa and trainer Barry Weinberg said more information would be available on Thursday.

Before Wednesday's game, Spiezio said he was ready to play and said he could have played on Tuesday if the Cardinals had needed him.

But now it seems he may be out for a while. Before his latest episode, Spiezio had been sidelined on a couple of occasions, including being disabled once, with an infected left index finger.

"It's been a weird year," said Spiezio, who seemed uncomfortable before the game in talking about his illness, which apparently is non-baseball related.

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That tends to happen when your manager is a drunk.

i don't remember reggie, guidry, nettles, munson, randolph etc...going to rehab when Martin was their manager. just think this is a LaRussa deal. throw in the A's steroid issue when he was there also.

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