Archive for STEROIDS!
As Major League Baseball’s PED story is one that never goes away, current players who have come clean about their drug use are working to rehabilitate their images. To that end, both Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte will appear at an anti-PED fundraiser at Yankee Stadium next month. The event will benefit at Taylor Hooton Foundation, an organization that works to combat steroid use among teenagers.
Almost hand in hand with this appearance is renewed attention on A-Rod due to his rapid approaching the 600-home run plateau. A-Rod will hit the milestone round-tripper sometime over the next week or so, and when he does, he’ll join a very exclusive club. In 12 years or so, Alex will be up for Cooperstown consideration, and although the PED cloud may linger, David Pinto believes that A-Rod has a very convincing case for enshrinement notwithstanding the drug scandal. I tend to agree. A-Rod should be in the Hall when the time comes.
The Anthony Galea/A-Rod story just won’t go away. Although MLB officials were reportedly “very happy” with Alex Rodriguez‘s explanation of his relationship with Dr. Anthony Galea, federal officials are digging into the Yanks’ third baseman’s financial records, according to a report in The Times. Galea, a Canadian doctor who has treated some high-profile U.S. athletes, is under investigation for allegedly supplying HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs to American clients, and the doctor treated A-Rod during the slugger’s rehab from hip surgery last year.
The Times says that the feds still want to meet with A-Rod, and the ongoing delay in arranging a time to talk have led them to contact others in A-Rod’s circle. Reportedly, the feds have asked A-Rod’s assistants, in the words of Michael S. Schmidt, “to determine the number of times he met with Galea, where they met and how much money Galea was paid for his services.” Investigators have also reached Angel Presinal, the tainted trainer who has been on the fringe of a few PED scandals over the past few years. As the season kicks into gear, this is one cloud I’d rather not see hanging above A-Rod’s head.
A-Rod tees off during Friday\’s Grapefruit League action. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)
Although Alex Rodriguez never had an opportunity during Spring Training to meet with the feds investigation Anthony Galea, the Yanks’ third baseman did speak with Major League Baseball’s own investigators late last week. According to subsequent reports, MLB officials were, in the words of A-Rod, “very happy” with his answers.
Michael S. Schmidt of The Times reports that A-Rod denied receiving any performance-enhancing drugs from Dr. Galea. Rodriguez says he received anti-inflammatories for his hip from Galea but did nothing illegal. “It went well,” A-Rod said to reporters. “I cooperated. They were very happy. And that’s it. I can’t really get into it that much.”
Meanwhile, A-Rod’s meeting with the feds may finally happen this week, the Daily News reports. Originally scheduled for Thursday, the meeting was postponed when A-Rod’s lawyers requested an extension. They wanted to avoid a media scrum in Buffalo. Yankee and MLB officials, however, would prefer to see this interview over and done with, and there’s an outside chance that the feds will accept notes from A-Rod’s meeting with MLB in lieu of a statement from A-Rod himself.
As various news outlets have reported, the Yankees have been less than thrilled with A-Rod for his connection to Galea. Both the team and Marc Philippon, the doctor who preformed A-Rod’s hip surgery last spring, say they never gave Galea the OK to treat Rodriguez, and A-Rod apparently went to the Canadian doctor himself.
The Yankees have two days off this week, and hopefully, the government can find the time for A-Rod then. I want to be optimistic and say that once A-Rod meets with the feds as a witness, this will be the last we hear of Galea this year. With A-Rod, though, you just never know.
As federal officials continue their investigation into Anthony Galea, a Canadian doctor suspected to furnishing PEDs to American baseball players, Alex Rodriguez will meet with the feds on Friday in Buffalo to talk about his connection to the doctor, according to Michael S. Schmidt of The Times. A-Rod and his lawyers will journey to upstate New York to cooperate in the investigation, and it is anticipated the feds will question the Yanks’ third baseman as to whether or not Galea has been sending various drugs into the States. Both Major League Baseball and the Yankees will be awaiting detail of A-Rod’s questioning.
For the Yankees, this story has put them into an awkward position with A-Rod. The slugger told the team this winter that he had no dealings with Galea, but stories this spring have cast that assertion into doubt. For numerous reasons, I hope nothing comes of this investigation except this questioning, but as is often the case with Alex Rodriguez, I’m not holding my breath.
As Brian McNamee and Roger Clemens continue their “he said/he said” spat, most people — and particularly the Yankees — would prefer it if this mess would stay far, far away from the Bronx. McNamee, however, has other plans.
According to the Daily News, in a brief filed on Friday and not yet available to me via the PACER system, McNamee has named a handful of current Yankees as potential witnesses in Clemens’ defamation suit against McNamee. Nathaniel Vinton has more:
The Yankees have never relished the destructive defamation suit former pinstripe hero Roger Clemens brought two years ago against his accuser, former Yankee trainer Brian McNamee, but bigger headaches for the club may yet lie ahead according to a new appeals-court brief issued by McNamee’s defense attorneys.
A footnote deep in the 60-page brief lists current Yankee stars Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, and Derek Jeter as witnesses McNamee might call to the stand for sworn testimony about Clemens’ purported use of steroids and human growth hormone. Also listed among potential witnesses for McNamee is Angela Moyer, an alleged mistress of Clemens who tended bar near the Upper East Side apartment where McNamee said he visited Clemens after Yankee games to inject the pitcher with steroids and human growth hormone (Clemens has testified he thought the syringes contained vitamin B12).
The brief, which McNamee’s attorneys sent Friday to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, portrays Clemens’ defamation suit as nearly dead in the water. It comes in response to Clemens’ appeal of a lower court’s ruling last year that eviscerated the suit, which Clemens first brought against McNamee on Jan. 6, 2008, three weeks after a report by former Senator George Mitchell first publicized McNamee’s accusations. Mitchell was also listed as a potential witness. He and the others could also be summoned to testify as part of a defamation countersuit that McNamee himself brought against Clemens last year in a federal court in Brooklyn — and will likely pursue, at least in order to recover his monumental legal fees.
If McNamee’s brief is as convincing as the Daily News says it is, the Yankees could be free of having to send their star players to testify. McNamee’s side could file for summary judgment and hope to get the case’s original dismissal affirmed. However, McNamee will continue to push his countersuit in Brooklyn, and only a settlement would stave off a trial.
For the Yankees, Spring Training steroid stories are becoming old hat, and the Roger Clemens mess has been lingering like a bad taste in the back of the team’s mouth since the Rocket’s ill-fated 2007 return to the Bronx. Hopefully, this story will just go away, but then again, we’ve all been hoping that for years with no end in sight.
Via the AP, Alex Rodriguez received treatment from Dr. Anthony Galea for his hip last spring. Galea is currently under investigation for supplying human growth hormone to athletes, though he maintains that he prescribed nothing more than anti-inflammatories for A-Rod‘s troublesome hip. The Yanks’ third baseman has already said he’ll cooperate with federal authorities, and I suspect this will get made into a bigger story than it really is. What else is new in the world of Alex Rodriguez.
So much for that quiet Spring Training. After his name surfaced in newspaper reports this morning, Alex Rodriguez confirmed today that he will meet with federal authorities to discuss his involvement in an ongoing investigation into a Canadian doctor arrested on drug charges in October. Anthony Galea, a Toronto-based sports specialist, is suspected of supplying HGH and other performance-enhancing drugs from Canada into the United States, but so far, the nature of his ties to A-Rod remain unknown.
According to various reports, Mark Lindsay, the chiropractor who oversaw A-Rod’s rehab from hip surgery last year, has close ties to both BALCO and Galea, and authorities are probably curious to find out if A-Rod wants more. Lindsay has also treated Chien-Ming Wang.
At camp today, A-Rod could not comment on his association with Galea due to the ongoing investigation. “I can’t really get into that,” he said to reporters. “You’ll know within time all at the same time.”
The Yankees, in a statement, attempted to distance themselves from the latest PED controversy to descend upon A-Rod at Spring Training. “The New York Yankees have not been contacted with regard to an investigation of Dr. Tony Galea,” the team said. “The Yankees never authorized Dr. Tony Galea to treat Alex Rodriguez, nor do we have any knowledge of any such treatment. The Yankees authorized Dr. Marc Philippon to operate on Alex and oversee his rehabilitation. At the request of Dr. Philippon, we also authorized Dr. Mark Lindsay to supervise the daily rehabilitation program established by Dr. Philippon. We will continue to monitor the situation.” Ben Shpigel of The Times reported, however, that team executives are annoyed that A-Rod’s name would surface in yet another PED investigation just one year after the latest controversy.
For what it’s worth, Jose Reyes was questioned in this investigation as well. Reyes spent time this winter with Galea and has closer ties to him than A-Rod appears to. Yet, nothing came of that questioning, and I expect the same result here. Call me naïve, but I can’t imagine A-Rod would have been foolish enough to get himself involved in another PED scandal since the last one broke a year ago.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens
Via The NY Times, Major League Baseball plans to start testing minor league players for human growth hormone later this year, which is the first step towards testing for HGH in the big leagues. Because most minor leaguers are not members of the MLBPA, the league is able to institute the blood testing without having to collectively bargain. It’s only a matter of time before they start invading privacy and poking guys in the show with needles.
Frankly, I have no interest in the whole steroid thing, and for what it’s worth, Will Carroll, in an interview with Maury Brown, doesn’t see much HGH use in baseball players. I just don’t care anymore. And besides, I liked it better when players did things like this.
In news that will come as a surprise to approximately no one, Mark McGwire today admitted to a career of steroid use. McGwire, the only Hall-of-Fame eligible member of the 500-home run not enshrined in Cooperstown, is making his return to the field this year as the Cardinals’ bench coach and decided today that honesty was the best policy.
McGwire’s own words tell the story:
“I never knew when, but I always knew this day would come. It’s time for me to talk about the past and to confirm what people have suspected. I used steroids during my playing career and I apologize. I remember trying steroids very briefly in the 1989/1990 off season and then after I was injured in 1993, I used steroids again. I used them on occasion throughout the nineties, including during the 1998 season.
“I wish I had never touched steroids. It was foolish and it was a mistake. I truly apologize. Looking back, I wish I had never played during the steroid era.
“During the mid-90s, I went on the DL seven times and missed 228 games over five years. I experienced a lot of injuries, including a rib cage strain, a torn left heel muscle, a stress fracture of the left heel, and a torn right heel muscle. It was definitely a miserable bunch of years and I told myself that steroids could help me recover faster. I thought they would help me heal and prevent injuries too.
“I’m sure people will wonder if I could have hit all those home runs had I never taken steroids. I had good years when I didn’t take any and I had bad years when I didn’t take any. I had good years when I took steroids and I had bad years when I took steroids. But no matter what, I shouldn’t have done it and for that I’m truly sorry.”
From around baseball, the reactions from those in charge and those close to the former slugger are as expected. Tony LaRussa, as he has done since day one, defended his man, and Bud Selig just sounded awkward about it. “I am pleased that Mark McGwire has confronted his use of performance-enhancing substances as a player. Being truthful is always the correct course of action, which is why I had commissioned Senator George Mitchell to conduct his investigation,” the Commissioner said. “This statement of contrition, I believe, will make Mark’s reentry into the game much smoother and easier.”
In the end, the same reporters who urged McGwire to come forward with his admissions, as Joel Sherman did in October, are already critiizing him for doing just that, as Joel Sherman did an hour ago. The moral outrage is bound to grow until it becomes insufferably loud.
For his part, though, McGwire did what he had to do even if it is of no great shock to the rest of us. He’ll talk about tonight at 7 p.m. on the MLB Network with Bob Costas.
From the non-news on a slow Saturday department, MLB will not punish Alex Rodriguez after completing it’s investigation into whether he used performance enhancing drugs longer than he acknowledged. Had he been punished in any way, I assume the union would have flipped their lid and come to A-Rod‘s aid.
Meanwhile, what’s up with David Ortiz? It’s been exactly five weeks since his press conference and 44 days since he got outed as cheat, are we still waiting for him to “gather information?” Why does he escape the witch hunt?