Monday, February 16, 2009

Quotable: Steroids, Testing, and Suspensions

Last week, Alex Rodriguez, the best player in baseball admitted to using steroids. And now, we get to hear the reaction from the rest of baseball. I have compiled a list of some of the best quotations from today's players about the current steroid policy, what needs to be done, and whether baseball is clean or not. Enjoy.

Ozzie Guillen (USA Today):

"In 2009, whoever gets caught, do something really drastic about this, and people will start to believe."

"We should put a year suspension. We have to make, someplace and somehow, people believe we do something about it. Fifty-game suspension, that's good, but I think we've got to make people believe," he added.
I absolutely love Ozzie's attitude towards steroids...kudos.

Ted Lilly ( responding to Guillen....
"Well, whatever Ozzie says, that should be what we should do," said pitcher Ted Lilly, who was asked whether something like that would be a good deterrent and good for the game.

"I don’t know," he said. "Is there any possible chance that there could be some mistakes in the testing along the way? That would be a bummer if that happened to you. ... Is there any way possible or fathomable that there could be some corruption? I don’t know."

"What if people stopped paying attention?" he said. "I guess, unfortunately, there are enough people that are interested in hearing about things like that and hearing what Britney Spears is doing with her personal life. It’s too bad. There are a lot of other good things going on out there."
Nice! Finally a player invokes Britney Spears into the conversation!

David Ortiz (

"I think you clean up the game by testing. I test you, you test positive, you're going to be out. Period. This is serious. I know that if I test positive by using any kind of substance I know I'm going to disrespect my family, the game, the fans and everybody. I don't want to face that situation. That's what I would do and I'm pretty sure everybody is on the same page."
Scott Baker (
"That's where stereotypes get you," said starting pitcher Scott Baker. "That's the stereotype (of baseball), that everyone is doing it, and that's unfortunate. But unless there is some serious scientific one-step-ahead-of-the-game going on, it's almost impossible now. You have to be either really smart or really stupid to try it."

Jaime Moyer (

"It's almost embarrassing to say that you play because of things that have happened and how they've been handled," he said. "It's such a distraction. I really wish there was some way to make it all go away. I wish Major League Baseball and the (players') union could figure out some plan to deal with all this. Whatever list (of positive 2003 tests) there is, throw the names out there or throw the list away. Start with a clean slate. It's something the industry needs. How they do it doesn't matter."

In 2004, baseball began punishing players who tested positive for steroids. A first positive test now carries a 50-game suspension. Moyer suggested toughening that.

"Implement a system where if you do it, you're taking a chance," he said. "Make the punishment stringent enough that nobody would be interested in doing it. I don't know if you could do lifetime because you're taking someone's livelihood away. But a year might be fine. One year, then if you do it again - lifetime."

Roy Oswalt (Houston Chronicle):
“Only the guys that have been proven guilty, their numbers shouldn’t count. … I love Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens just like brothers. I’ve played with them for three years. They’re great teammates and I would love to have them on my team this year, but the way I feel I feel like they cheated me out of the game just because of the way they enhanced themselves but I’ve done it by working out.”

“Now with the testing we have in place, there’s no way you can get around d it,” he said. “I think in the last two years or three years the game’s been clean, real clean. It’s probably one of the cleanest sports out there. There’s really no way to beat the tests with what’s in place now.”
Interesting stuff, very interesting. I love the idea of increasing the penalty for a positive test and it's quite encouraging to hear guys talk about how well the program is working. A one year ban for a first time offense followed by a lifetime ban seems to be the way to go. It's the only way to restore some level of credibility in the future.

And isn't it refreshing to hear how pissed off these guys are? It's not just the fans who hate this garbage, and that is music to my ears. For some reason, hearing Big Papi sound off about steroids today brought a large smile to my face...

What's your opinion? Who do you agree with? Does the MLB need to increase steroid penalties? How can the MLB restore credibility after years of allegations, illegal drugs, and cheaters?


tHeMARksMiTh said...

So, what happens when a player "accidentally" takes a supplement that's tainted? I'm not saying I disagree with harsher punishments, but it seems like we'll hit an exception (like with Romero and Mitre). Maybe they didn't mean to, but can we ever tell? If they honestly didn't mean to, then is it fair to suspend them? Just something to think about before we go gungho into cutting heads off.

Jorge Says No! said...

tHeMARksMith: That's a great point. However, at this point, I think baseball has done enough to inform the players of what they should be putting into their bodies and what is banned. Sure, the JC Romero story might prove me wrong, but if any ball player is stupid enough to put something questionable into their body at this point, then they deserve the suspension. The moral of the story is to always ask a trainer/doctor/MLB hotline if you're unsure about a substance.

I don't want to cut anyone's head off or turn this into some sort of witch hunt, but baseball still needs to get stronger punishments for steroids. They have come a long way since 2003, but steroids have hurt baseball in many different ways and the best way to ensure the legitimacy of the game nowadays is to have intense testing.

thanks for the great comment.