Major League Baseball Reacts to Suspensions
Reaction to MLB's suspension of 13 players on Monday, after a sweeping drug investigation:
"I'm a human being. I've had two hip surgeries. I've had two knee surgeries. I'm fighting for my life. I have to defend myself. If I don't defend myself, no one else will. There's a process. I'm happy with the process. In due time, hopefully whatever happens, happens." — Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
"Those players who have violated the Program have created scrutiny for the vast majority of our players, who play the game the right way." — Commissioner Bud Selig, from a statement released by MLB.
"What they were doing that is inappropriate is imposing a penalty that is way too harsh. I mean, we've never had a 200-plus (game) penalty for a player who may have used drugs. And among other things, I just think that's way out of line." — MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner.
"We believe that effective enforcement efforts through testing and investigations increases the deterrent effect of our program." — Rob Manfred, MLB's executive vice president for economics and league affairs.
"I'm not saying that anyone is making anything up. I'm not saying anything about MLB or anything that's going on. I am saying that we have a process. This is America. You have an opportunity to defend yourself, and I think the process, like all of Americans, we'll have an opportunity to defend ourselves in a due process, and I think that's what we have today and I'll have my day." — Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.
"Today is a sad day for MLB, the fans of this great game, and all players who may have been negatively affected by others selfishness. Ultimately, although today will be a day of infamy for MLB, it is a tremendous step in the right direction for the game we love." — Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria, on his Twitter account.
"I think as a whole we're disappointed that we haven't as an industry moved past this. Because there's a been an awful lot of effort put into this and a lot of education and MLB has made it a priority so yeah, it's disappointing that we haven't gotten further down the road." — Hall of Fame pitcher and Texas Rangers CEO Nolan Ryan.
"Not surprised by the names, it surprises me that people keep trying. ... If you keep trying to do something wrong, sooner or later they're going to get you. That's my point. So I don't want to do nothing wrong in baseball because maybe they want to catch me. I have family and friends so I don't want to let them down." — New York Yankees outfielder Alfonso Soriano.
"Obviously it was a pretty widespread scheme coming out of South Florida. Issuing these suspensions is a good day for clean athletes. It shows no players are above the game and this commissioner is going to take a leadership position and hold those accountable who violate the rules of the sport. It really validates the decision of millions of athletes around the world who make the decision when confronted with it not to use dangerous performance-enhancing drugs." — U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart.
"This has been an ongoing thing for so long. It's not like somebody just died suddenly. It's kind of what I expected. I was a very close person in his life at one time and probably a mentor, and those were great times and I really liked them and appreciated them. That's what I remember. These things here, I'd like to forget. He's an intelligent person. He had the ability to make all the choices. He made the choices and now he's got to live with them." — Rich Hofman, who was Rodriguez's high school coach at Westminster Christian in Miami.
"Through the Olympics and then baseball and then a term as chairman of the United States Olympic Committee from 2004-08, I had a chance to watch the cheating grow around the world. This is the best effort that I've seen any sport make to both send a message and curtail the problem. It's a full-time part of sport to be proactive and stop cheating. Some sports have just ignored it, as an example, cycling, over a long period of time. I think from everything I've read and the information available to me, it looks like Bud provided the leadership that brought all factions together to dramatically reduce and eventually eliminate this type of cheating in major league baseball." — former Commissioner Peter Ueberroth.
"The accepted suspensions announced today are consistent with the punishments set forth in the Joint Drug Agreement, and were arrived at only after hours of intense negotiations between the bargaining parties, the players and their representatives. For the player appealing, Alex Rodriguez, we agree with his decision to fight his suspension. We believe that the Commissioner has not acted appropriately under the Basic Agreement. Mr. Rodriguez knows that the Union, consistent with its history, will defend his rights vigorously." — MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner.
"These are not situations that you're looking into, so nobody thinks that's good, but I think when you see these penalties that people realize that if they're thinking about doing something they shouldn't, I would think that this would set the standard that you don't want to do it." — Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski.
"From November, 2011 to January, 2012, I was seriously ill with a gastrointestinal infection, helicobacter pylori, which went undiagnosed for over a month. By the time I was properly diagnosed and treated, I had lost 40 pounds. Just weeks before I was to report to spring training in 2012, I was unsure whether I would be physically able to play. Faced with this situation, I made an error in judgment that I deeply regret, and I accept full responsibility for that error." — Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz, suspended 50 games.
"In spring of 2012, I made a terrible mistake that I deeply regret. I apologize to everyone that I have hurt as a result of my mistake, including my teammates, the Tigers' organization, the great fans in Detroit, Major League Baseball, and my family. I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension. I love the fans, my teammates and this organization and my greatest punishment is knowing that I have let so many good people down. I promise to do everything possible to try and earn back the respect that I have lost." — Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta, suspended 50 games.
"The penalties are a joke. If these players were in the Olympics or USA Track and Field, for example - the gold standards of testing - each player's first major finding like this would cause a two year ban_a real penalty. Fifty games is less than a third of a season. These guys will be back for the playoffs! Baseball is not serious." — former Clinton administration drug policy spokesman Bob Weiner.
"Working together, we've delivered messages to thousands of kids and have impacted their lives in a positive way. But today's announcement leaves us no option but to discontinue our relationship with Alex Rodriguez." — Don Hooton president of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, which aims to educate youth about the hazards of steroid use.
"I look forward to regaining the trust and respect of the Phillies' organization, Phillies' fans and my family, and look forward to helping the Phillies win a championship in 2014." — Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, suspended 50 games.
"We are compelled to address certain reckless and false allegations concerning the Yankees' role in this matter. The New York Yankees in no way instituted and/or assisted MLB in the direction of this investigation; or used the investigation as an attempt to avoid its responsibilities under a player contract; or did its medical staff fail to provide the appropriate standard of care to Alex Rodriguez." — statement issued by the New York Yankees.
"I am very pleased that Major League Baseball has cleared my name. With this process now complete, I have no lingering sense of animosity, as I quickly realized that the objective of this investigation was to clean up our game. This is an ideal that I share with both Major League Baseball and the MLBPA." — Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez, who was linked to the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, but exonerated by MLB's investigation.
"Of course there's disappointment, but if you start getting angry, then you're starting to judge, and I'm not judging. The commissioner has made it clear, baseball has made it clear and the players' association has made it clear that they don't want this in the game, and I think they're doing a tremendous job to try to clear it up, and there's a consequence to things that you do. We'll live with it, it's done, and we move forward." -- Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.