MESA, Ariz. -- Dusty Baker thinks suspicions over which
baseball players are using steroids smacks of a McCarthy witch
"I hate steroids. I knew Lyle Alzado," the Chicago Cubs
manager said Tuesday, referring to the NFL star who died of cancer
after admitting to several years of steroid use.
While Baker said, "I've got my own ideas about guys around the
league," he said all players are being tainted.
"It's like McCarthyism or something. They're looking to see who
looks like a communist," he said.
"I'll probably get in trouble for that, too, but that's how I
equate it," Baker added. "Oh, he lost weight. He gained
Baseball has been under a cloud of suspicion for steroid use for
years, as players got bigger and offensive numbers sky rocketed.
Anonymous survey testing last season showed 5-7 percent of the
tests were positive, and Barry Bonds' personal trainer has told
federal agents he gave steroids to several baseball players.
Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson, was among four men charged this
month in an alleged steroid-distribution ring. All the men have
pleaded innocent and no athletes have been charged.
Bonds and Jason Giambi appeared in December before the grand
jury investigating the case. Both have repeatedly denied using
drugs, and did so again on Monday when they reported to spring
Asked Monday about the allegations against Anderson, Baker said
he didn't know anything. That prompted criticism by some members of
the Chicago media.
"Who am I? The FBI? I ain't the FBI. I'm not the DEA," said
Baker, who managed the San Francisco Giants for 10 years before
coming to the Cubs last season. "Because I was the manager, does
that mean I know what guys are doing when they get away from the
field? Does that mean I'm supposed to know everything in every
situation in every town about everything? Nobody knows that.
"I've never even seen steroids," Baker added. "I don't even
know how you take it. How am I supposed to know who's doing this
and who's doing that?"
Sammy Sosa brushed aside questions about steroid use in baseball
later in the day, saying, "I don't really know and I don't want to
know. I know myself, I know who I am and that's it."
Baker said he didn't know enough to have an opinion on steroids
in baseball or the league's drug testing policy. But he did say
he's most concerned about drug use among young players.
"I'm concerned about the amateur guys," he said. "Are some of
the guys being forced, in their minds, to do it to keep up with the
guys that are doing it? I'm concerned about who's going to come up
with spleen problems 20 years from now. Or heart problems. Or brain
"From a guy that had cancer, I'm concerned not about the sport
as much as I am about a guy's life and his family later on. Because
nobody knows the repercussions of what's going on and what's
happening until later."