Saturday, February 7, 2009

Digging thru the can of worms

Well, something like this was bound to come tumbling out of the can of worms that was opened by the Mitchell Report, the BALCO investigations, etc.

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.
Though MLB's drug policy has expressly prohibited the use of steroids without a valid prescription since 1991, there were no penalties for a positive test in 2003. The results of that year's survey testing of 1,198 players were meant to be anonymous under the agreement between the commissioner's office and the players association. Rodriguez's testing information was found, however, after federal agents, armed with search warrants, seized the '03 test results from Comprehensive Drug Testing, Inc., of Long Beach, Calif., one of two labs used by MLB in connection with that year's survey testing.
The list of the 104 players whose urine samples tested positive is under seal in California. However, two sources familiar with the evidence that the government has gathered in its investigation of steroid use in baseball and two other sources with knowledge of the testing results have told Sports Illustrated that Rodriguez is one of the 104 players identified as having tested positive, in his case for testosterone and an anabolic steroid known by the brand name Primobolan. All four sources spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the evidence.

And we wonder why the Union fought so hard against the testing; they knew nothing would stay anonymous.

As I said earlier this week:
There isn't one name in the game over the last two decades who, if it came out he was using PEDs (steroids, HgH, etc.) that would surprise me. Not one name. I don't think anyone is above getting sucked into the allure that these PEDs provided. I would be disappointed if some of the players who I admired turned out to be users, but no one would surprise me.
I'm not surprised by ARod's inclusion to this morass. Disappointed. Not shocked. Well, he can kiss his HOF wishes goodbye.


The Common Man said...

A-Rod's got 7-10 more seasons in the game, and 5 more years after that. You don't think that's enough time for a) our thinking on the steroid era to change dramatically or b) our thinking on A-Rod to change dramatically? I think he'll still get in on the first ballot.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

TCM, maybe I jumped to that "no HOF" stance too quickly, but in seeing the response that Bonds, Clemens, McGwire, Palmiero, Sosa, et al are getting with respect to the HOF, I wonder how ARod will stand above it all. Of course, to your point, we have at least 14 years to worry (9 contract years plus 5 waiting period).

Then there's the side of me that wonders what, if anything, the Yanks will try to do about ARod and his contract. Not sure they could do anything even if they wanted.... (thinking back to Giambi)

Anonymous said...

The article on designer PEDs you published recently makes me wonder how we can assume anyone is "clean." Eventually we have to evaluate players on their numbers and how they compare to other players of the era and leave the unknowable to monks.

Rory The Great said...

There are two players from the last 20 years that would shock me if they came up with a positive test. Mariano Rivera and Frank Thomas. I honestly suspect everyone else.

Ron Rollins said...

Who cares? This doesn't change anything. If they all used, no one used, or some used, what difference does it make?

Does anyone thing that A-Rod is still not a great player? Or any of the others?

So steroids gave them a 5% advantage? Or a 10% advantage? The great players are still great, and the duds are still duds. Maybe the numbers are slightly elevated, but subtract the 50 HR's A-Rod gained, and how many does he still have?

And keep in mind, I hate the Yankees, I hate A-Rod, I hate Clemens, I hate Bonds, Bud, the DH, dome stadiums, artificial turf, the wild card and all that other crap.

Who cares? Spring training starts in 1 week.

The game, people! The game! What happens on the field. Let's focus.

Yeah, all day at the pub watching the Six Nations. It's sitll the game.

Ron Rollins said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tadthebad said...

TCM, I'm not certain that the time will have as much of an effect as the evolving tenured membership of the BBWAA. Still, I agree it's too early to qualify.

The Common Man said...

@ Jason

According to the SI article, "Two sources familiar with Rodriguez's contract told SI there is no language about steroids in the contract that would put Rodriguez at risk of losing money."