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.