|ESPN.com: Baseball||[Print without images]|
NEW YORK -- Tommy Lasorda, who managed the Los Angeles Dodgers to two World Series titles, did not mince words when asked about Alex Rodriguez's 162-game suspension.
"He should have gotten more," Lasorda said Tuesday at a Baseball Assistance Team charity event in Manhattan. "What he's done? He's trying to ruin the game. You can't do that.
"He's going to keep on trying to do something, but he's got a suspension. He should just sit back and fill it out."
Lasorda also said steroid cheats never should be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
He should've gotten more. What he's done? He's trying to ruin the game. You can't do that. He's going to keep on trying to do something, but he's got a suspension. He should just sit back and fill out.” -- Tommy Lasorda, on Alex Rodriguez
He said he is particularly upset because he once presumed A-Rod was clean.
"I was thinking, 'At least this guy is doing it legitimately,' and then find out he wasn't," Lasorda said. "That really turned my opinion of him."
Lasorda's godson Mike Piazza recently fell short of election to the Hall of Fame in his second year of eligibility. He is among an entire era of players getting penalized for the widespread steroid usage at that time.
Lasorda said he does not blame Rodriguez particularly for Piazza missing election. Rather, Lasorda blames the widespread suspicion of players from that era.
"You know there's one word that's beginning to be big in the voting, and that word is 'suspicion,'" Lasorda said. "A lot of people get suspicious, and that's it. But they don't know for sure. They're doing it on suspicion. How do you fix that? I don't know how you fix it.
"That's the only thing they've got to go on is what they hear, what they feel, what they see, what they believe. That's the only way to do it.
"For someone who has gotten by then, it's like a guy robbing the bank and walking out and walking down the street and nobody bothered him."
Lasorda emphatically said cheaters should not be in the Hall of Fame.
"When someone breaks the rules, they don't belong in there," he said. "Would you have your son get A-Rod's autograph? Would you like to have that?
"I'm disappointed in this game of ours, which is so great, that somebody has to do things to cheat. That's not right. How about those pitchers that they hit all those home runs off of them? Nobody thinks about those guys. So, consequently, we've got to have this game where everybody is on the same level. We need that. Even my wife said, 'Well, they had to hit the ball.' I said, 'Sure, they hit the ball. But those balls that were caught on the warning track are now in the seats.' And that's the thing that makes the difference. …
"If I'm pitching and I know that guy up there is using that stuff, I'd hit him right in the mouth. I'd say, 'Go in and take another shot of it.' Why should they be allowed to do that and others not allowed? It's not right. We've got to get this baseball game to where the fans can understand everything is on the same level -- each guy has the same opportunities. That's the way it should be. That's the way it used to be. We never heard of steroids. Christ, half the guys couldn't even spell it."