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Saturday, February 07, 2009
A-Rod did SteroidsThis is somewhat huge:
In 2003, when he won the American League home run title and the AL Most Valuable Player award as a shortstop for the Texas Rangers, Alex Rodriguez tested positive for two anabolic steroids, four sources have independently told Sports Illustrated.
I'll grant that many of those points are colored by my own interest and may not all be what the players and the union and the league would like. But like they say, sunshine is the best disinfectant. Let's do what the Mitchell Report didn't do and completely clear the decks on this. All names from 2003 out now. Let's end the parlor games and character assassination and get on with the business of fact-telling and the accurate chronicling of history.
UPDATE: Here is my latest -- and more comprehensive -- take on all of this business.
(thanks to The Common Man for the heads up)
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 11:53am
Agree with most points, except that how do we know when arod started juicing? maybe in high school while growing up in miami? Obviously he has the means to afford a higher class of pharmaceuticals today but since he has clearly lied about this in the past he has no credibility.
Posted 02/07 at 01:52 PM
I’m really tired of this. I just want to watch baseball. And Jose Canseco having credibility is bad for America.
I have always been an A-Rod defender, which is tough as an Orioles fan. It’s going to be really hard living in New York and having to even look at the Post for the next few weeks. I really hope the man has a great year for the sake of my sanity. Otherwise it’s going to get brutal.
I know he brings it on himself. But still.
Posted 02/07 at 01:58 PM
The Common Man said...
“Let’s end the parlor games and character assassination and get on with the business of fact-telling and the accurate chronicling of history.”
I agree whole-heartedly, but mostly because I don’t want to spend the next the next year thinking about the drip-drip-drip. I’d rather spend the next year talking about the ways baseball is addressing the problem than talking about who did what. It’s not as sexy a story, but it’s a better one.
Getting all the names out now is also a great way for the players to do what baseball did with the Mitchell Report: take control of the story. It’s clearly in the media’s best interest to drag this out as long as possible, whereas getting the full story out now gives the players at least a little bit of spin control and pushes the story further toward completion (especially with a full season coming up and other potential stories that will defect attention from the list).
Posted 02/07 at 02:00 PM
Devon Young said...
When’s before steroids for A-Rod? We only know about ‘03, but don’t know anything before that (yet). Besides, pre-steroid Clemens was great…but the ‘roids seem to have elongated his peak years. How do we know that A-Rod wouldn’t have started to slow down? Steroids may be elongating his peak years. That’s what I want to know about. To me, that’s important.
Posted 02/07 at 02:04 PM
My memory of this is kinda hazy, but the 2003 tests were supposed to be anonymous, weren’t they? I thought they were intended to judge the scope of steroid use, not to scrutinize individual changes. There was supposed to be no way to link samples to individual players.
What does this do to the relationship between players and the league? If I’ve correctly remembered the details, it looks like MLB broke some important promises to their players. Is this going to make it more difficult to implement effective PED prevention in MLB?
Posted 02/07 at 02:22 PM
Individual PLAYERS, not “individual changes”. My kingdom for an edit button.
Posted 02/07 at 02:23 PM
I know everyone is suspect and steroids permeated (permeate?) the whole league, but every player who ever played for the Astros/Rangers should be looked at twice. When the steroid era wants to unwind after a long day, it heads home to Texas.
Posted 02/07 at 02:28 PM
Bill B. said...
Craig, how much legal action can A-Rod take since the government abused its power here by publicizing anonymous tests? Also, they only were supposed to have access to ten BALCO-linked players but obviously got access to them all.
Posted 02/07 at 02:34 PM
Nice thought, but we still haven’t seen the 1997 expansion draft protected lists, and there’s nil reason not to release those by now.
But you are right that the union could grab the reins if it releases the list. And right there would go almost any chance at a Pulitzer. It’d be ugly, but baseball has weathered worse.
IIRC the 2003 testing was comprehensive, everyone on a major league roster, and the 104 positives was enough (more than 5%) to trigger the ongoing testing as of 2004. So the names NOT on the list would be just as interesting, since everyone would have been in the sample pool.
If the list is released and Clemens’ name is on it, he’s toast. If he is on the list and knows that today, he should likewise jump the gun, recant, do whatever he can to salvage what little he’s got left, because no lawyer is good enough to save his carcass if he’s on the list.
Posted 02/07 at 02:41 PM
Sara K said...
So did SI only get a tip about ARod and nobody else? No doubt his is the biggest name on the list, but I’m with CC in my annoyance with the narrowness of this “revelation.”
On a side note, the talking heads on the MLBN are doing a bunch of tut-tutting, and the most substantive remarks are coming from Harold Reynolds.
Posted 02/07 at 02:44 PM
What’s your take, Craig, on the leaking of this information, especially considering that it didn’t happen until after the FBI raided the facility? I mean, that list was kept under lock and key at the testing facility with nary a hint at who was on it for five years. But only weeks after the FBI raids it and gets the list for itself, four “independent” sources are telling SI who’s on it?
It seems fishy, to say the very least. it also seems illegal, immoral, and, to the players’ association at least, absolutely infuriating. Any thoughts on how the PA is going to view this?
This was an anonymous survey, of sorts, that the PA agreed to in an effort to help the owners clean-up the steroids problem, right? Basically, it was a “good faith” effort by both sides to help clean up a problem that they both agreed needed cleaning. Aren’t we going against that faith now by excoriating the names we find? And what happens if we discover that Pujols, Papi, Pedro, Randy Johnson, Chipper Jones, and Manny Ramirez are all on it?
Posted 02/07 at 02:45 PM
Pete Toms said...
I commented here last week that the crap would hit the fan again as the names from the “anonymous” testing were revealed, didn’t know it would be this soon.
The players got royally screwed on this “anonymous” testing but it’s not the fault of the owners, it’s the feds who are leaking it. Even if the courts rule that the feds can’t use the results, the names will and are being leaked anyway.
I think what is interesting about the “anonymous” testing is the percentage of positive tests. I had previously thought it was between 5 and 7 % but this latest report has it at about 8.5%. 8.5%, doesn’t that seem absurdly low? Am I to think that in 03 in a typical MLB game there were only 4 to 5 players out of the 50 in uniform who were dirty? No way, it’s gotta be higher, a lot higher. I think this is evidence that the cheaters stay ahead of the regulators.
Guess we know what us chattering classes will be talking about this year…
Posted 02/07 at 02:46 PM
Bill B. said...
“that list was kept under lock and key at the testing facility with nary a hint at who was on it for five years.”
lar, if I heard TJ Quinn correctly on ESPN this morning, he said that the list was kept in another state, and there were codes on the samples that corresponded with the codes and player names on the list.
Posted 02/07 at 02:55 PM
Pete Toms said...
Will the scrutiny send A Rod over the edge? Will it impact negatively on his performance? I don’t follow the A Rod soap opera very closely but I get the impression that he is portrayed as being very sensitive about how he is perceived….this sure ain’t gonna help.
Posted 02/07 at 02:55 PM
I’m with Scott and Bill on this - is there any legal recourse when legally or contractually confidential information is released like this? I feel like it drives deeper wedges between the union and MLB at an already tense time. On a broader level, for me it degrades our justice system - the people employed in the judicial system aren’t trustworthy enough to keep something like Barry Bonds’ sealed testimony from leaking? If we can’t keep the names of important informants from the press (e.g. the guy the Smoking Gun just wrote a lengthy article about), doesn’t it make it much more difficult to convince people to inform in the future?
Posted 02/07 at 02:58 PM
Pete Toms said...
To protect the “anonymity” of the players tesing postive, the urine tests and the data that contained the identity of the players were conducted by separate companies. The feds raided both, they had to link the barcodes on the pee samples with the identity of the players in the database. The feds maintain that in order to acquire the positive results of the 10 players they were investigating they had to take the entire database, they couldn’t take just the 10 identities.
Posted 02/07 at 02:59 PM
“but every player who ever played for the Astros/Rangers should be looked at twice”
Since Nolan Ryan started it all. Just saying.
Lesson here is that everyone who was dedicated to weight training in the 90s early 2000s (which is practically everyone who was a good player) did steroids - caught or not.
Posted 02/07 at 03:21 PM
Sara K said...
Costas is interviewing the SI reporter who broke the story. He asks her if, in addition to being a violation of their rights as players, the handling of the non-Balco players’ tests also constitutes a violation of their rights as Americans. The reporter agrees that, yes, it is an issue and that the players’ union is right to be appealing the handling of that information. But SI is profitting from this situation, and that’s just fine? I guess I’m missing something…
Posted 02/07 at 03:40 PM
Pete Toms said...
@ MC; Correct. Where you have serious weight training you have steroids (aka supplements).
Manfred has released an official statement and if I interpret it correctly there is a veiled threat there towards Orza.
Posted 02/07 at 03:44 PM
Major takeaway—whether we like it or not—is that whatever Canseco has said in that book (or all his books?), whether for the right reasons or not, should actually now be presumed true unless shown otherwise . . .
Posted 02/07 at 04:15 PM