Reaction to MLB suspensions

Reaction to MLB’s suspension of 13 players on Monday, after a
sweeping drug investigation:

”What we’ve always fought for was for the process, and I think
we have that and at some point we’ll sit in front of an arbiter and
give our case. And that’s as much as I feel comfortable telling you
right now.” – Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.

”As a social institution with enormous social responsibilities,
Baseball must do everything it can to maintain integrity, fairness
and a level playing field. We are committed to working together
with players to reiterate that performance-enhancing drugs will not
be tolerated in our game.” – Commissioner Bud Selig, from a
statement released by MLB.

”Definitely going in the right direction. I think we can all
agree that the penalties aren’t harsh enough. If we want to get
this game cleaned up the way it’s supposed to be, if you get caught
one time it’s just you’re done. I think that’s the only way it’ll
ever get completely clean. But I think we’re moving in the right
direction. Those guys that got suspended, it’s going to be tough
for them.” – Braves second baseman Dan Uggla.

”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.

”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.

”You’ll never get around it. I mean, there will always be
people trying to beat the system, no matter what. The only thing
MLB and the players’ union can do is get together and try to figure
out to the best of their ability how guys are beating the system.”
– Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton.

”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, Rodriguez’s high school coach at Westminster
Christian in Miami.

”I’ve been pretty clear. I’d like to see testing get really,
really good, where guys can’t get away with anything, guys know
they can’t get away with anything. It protects the players from
each other, trying to compete. It protects the fans, it protects
the organization. Hopefully this keeps getting better, and the
penalties will get stiffer to the point where it just deters the
players from trying.” – Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don
Mattingly.

”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.

”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.

”I made certain mistakes during the 2012 season and I accept
full responsibility for those mistakes. I look forward to regaining
the trust and respect of the Mariners’ organization, Mariners’ fans
and my family. I look forward to making significant contributions
to the Mariners in 2014.” – Mariners minor league catcher Jesus
Montero, 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.