August 12, 2005

'Roid Rumors

Earlier this week, Peter Gammons wrote:
The steroid rumor mill has been spinning out of control. More than 50 players tested positive, one megastar. Clubhouse talk. Maybe it's only a dozen, but there's a bigger name than Rafael Palmeiro. That's what's going around. ...

Why should Lance Berkman, Mike Sweeney, Garret Anderson, Jason Varitek or Carlos Beltran have to compete with cheaters? Why should Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy, Rich Harden or Pedro Martinez have to outperform someone whose fastball and recovery time are enhanced?
Does that mean we can cross those names off the suspected players list?

More rumors from Howard Bryant, in his Wednesday Herald column:
Before last week's Red Sox-Royals finale, a Royals player, who shall remain nameless, sat in the Kansas City dugout staring straight ahead squinting against the early afternoon sun. ... "Forget Palmeiro," the player said. "Be on the lookout for more. There are more names coming. Trust me."

The television executive whose network is a rights holder of Major League Baseball said last Friday that baseball had the names of as many as a dozen positive steroid tests that it was withholding from the public ...

Three days later, before Monday's 11-6 Sox win over Texas, a Red Sox pitcher heard the same thing ... "We're all hearing the same thing," the player said, noting that leading up to the Palmeiro announcement word had floated for days that "somebody big" was going down. "I heard they had 58 names they weren't releasing. I also heard that at least two were bigger than Palmeiro."

Later that afternoon, a former executive told me he had heard the talk recently, too, but the number is closer to 50 than 58. ... An Oakland executive not named Beane was frustrated, leaning toward believing the rumors. "If they knew about Palmeiro since May," the executive said, "what's to say they aren't sitting on more names?"
And yesterday on SoSH, there were these posts:
5:47 PM -- Michael Kay on the radio: Heard his rumor independent of Gammons -- Two big names, one in the national league, one AL. One would shock you - not the type anyone has speculated on, the other one would disappoint you. Very big names.

6:49 PM -- According to, Kay said one was a "near HOF" quality player and the other was a "HOF lock." And there's a suggestion in the thread over there, but it's not clear, that he said that the HOF lock is the AL player.

10:03 PM -- From NYYfans ... I know someone who is in contact with a certain baseball author. This author claims that A-Rod is definitely juicing. I won't reveal the author's name here, and I can't even confirm if he even said that, but just some food for thought.
Not much of a source, but that's gossip for you. I would think that lesser-talented players would be more apt to try to gain any sort of advantage, since that might be all that keeps them in the major leagues. Then again, the prospect of a $100 million free agent deal would be pretty alluring to a star player too.

MLB's apparent unwillingness to release these test results -- in the wake of pretty clear evidence they sat on Palmeiro's positive results, letting him continue playing until he got his 3,000th hit and after the Hall of Fame ceremonies passed -- is one of this story's more intriguing subplots.


Anonymous said...

Those bastards. Release the names. Let the chips fall where they may.

Masked and Anonymous said...

Exactly. MLB just makes it look so much worse when they don't release the names. Makes them almost as guilty as the players....

Devine said...

Are either or both of these players involved in pennant races? If so, is MLB sitting on the names to make a statement late in the year or something?

Even if they aren't, shouldn't players be punished when they are caught? Wouldn't that be the more fair system?

Anonymous said...

I still don't get why they refuse to release the names. It's like they're saying "we want to catch the juicers" and "we don't want to get involved" at the same time.

As for the "A-Rod's juicing" rumors, I wouldn't pay much attention to them. The guy's an annoying metrosexual prick, but he doesn't have the facial water retention, the gigantic build or the temper that characterize a steroid user.

Middy said...

Not releasing the names is just procedure. I'm a pro cyclist so I know all about doping controls. If your girlfriend told you she took a home pregnancy test and it was positive would you at that instant buy a house, baby clothes, a ring and be thinking about a name? No, you'd go to a doctor and get a more acurate test done. Thats what they're doing, they need to retest twice, find out the drug in question, contact the player to see if there is an explanation (I had a teammate test positive and they traced it back to cough drops we got training in Africa and they threw the charge out)its a whole process that takes time and the union dosen't allow the suspention to start until everythings done.

J Colombo said...

Always looking to throw AROD under the bus while praising Varitek. All the rumors I hear have MASK BOY on roids. Big Papi couldn't hit an inside pitch until he came to the Friends of Manny Alexander's Clubhouse. He's 30 pounds heavier and all of a sudden his bat is quicker?? Stop hating AROD and look in your own clubhouse for roids.

Devine said...

All the rumors you hear, is it? And who are you exactly? I kind of doubt you're Peter Gammons or Michael Kay.

Yeah, like I've never considered the possiblity that Ortiz was on 'roids. I do like his "rice and beans" comment on the issue. He and lots of the other Sox were tested way back when (March? April?) as I recall, to prompt that comment. Have they held on to the results that long? I'd be very disappointed if it was the case that he was juicing...but not super-surprised.

peter* said...

They are not releasing the names until the next of kin are notified.

redsock said...

Hey Colombo, still obsessed with the mask, huh?

I can just about hear you talking one day to your grandchildren about how, sure, Ty Cobb was a violent racist, but I've got a tale of real evil for you. Around the turn of the century, there was this catcher up in boston and one day, he kept his mask on ...

Damon said this week that the Sox have been tested three times this season.

Middy -- Interesting points. Thanks for the input. I would hope that MLB is quite careful with the results and the possibility of false positives. Still, there is a world of different between how Palmeiro was allowed to continue playing and what happened to Ryan Franklin.

Since most (or many) players are under suspicion by some percentage of fans, I would think the clean ones would want that shadow removed from their reputation asap.

They should all do what Palmeiro should have done. Release a list of all vitamins and supplements he is taking. As I've said before, it would (1) show that what he is taking is above board, and (2) help newer players know what is allowed and what might not be allowed.

As far as certain things in legal supplements triggering a false positives, I'm not knowledgeable enough to talk about that, though I wish I was.

Has anyone read Will Carroll's recent book?

Earl said...

Gammo's comments are interesting -- it really sounds like he knows those particular players tested negative. Seems fair to assume he knows some of the players who have tested positive as well. From his comments a couple weeks ago on the Daily Show, it was pretty clear Bob Costas knew all about Palmeiro testing positive before it was announced; if Costas knows this stuff, you have to assume Gammons does as well.

Klamathguy said...

I talked to the mayor of my town the other day, and he said, bad news is something I never bury. It's always best to just get it out there and let the public decide.

The only way you get hurt is by hiding things from the public. Baseball needs to follow that example.

They only lose by hiding the facts.