Random Baseball Thought #1: Palmeiro and Tejada

By | September 23, 2005

One of the things I try to find time in my schedule to do each day is read everything interested on ESPN.com’s Major League Baseball section. There are a few big stories going on right now, and I thought I would post my thoughts on each of them. I had planned on posting them all in one post, but it got to be pretty long, so it will be a series tonight. Up first:

Rafael Palmeiro allegedly implicated Miguel Tejada in his steroid suspension hearing.

Apparently unofficial leaks are now the official (read: only) source of information in the Palmeiro situation. The latest leak says that, according to transcripts from his hearing: “Rafael Palmeiro said a vitamin he received from Miguel Tejada might have caused the positive test for steroid use that led to the first baseman’s suspension, an assertion his Baltimore Orioles teammate dismissed as implausible.”

This, naturally, caused quite a stir in both ESPN.com chats I read this morning, one with Joe Morgan and the other with Jerry Crasnick. Here are a few excerpts from those chats:

Mike (Philly): Hey Joe, You’ve spent considerable time in this chat talking about the HOF. I remember you metioning that the HOF is almost like a fraternity where members respect eachother. How do you think voters opinions are affected after hearing that Palmerio is blaming his positive test on another teammate?

Joe Morgan: I can only give you my opinion. I don’t have a vote. I only vote on the Veteran’s Committee. As a former player, this is one of the worst things I have seen. This is the height of the whole problem, saying it was someone else’s fault. As a former player, I’m very disappointed.

Ryan (worcester, ma): He didn’t rat Tejada out. At the appeal they asked him of anything he can think of where there was any possibilty it could have contained steroids. so He mentioned the B12 injection. Do you people read the articles or just the headlines??

Jerry Crasnick: Ryan,

I’d put a little more credence in the B12 story if I didn’t think Palmeiro has been using steroids for, oh, the last 15 years or so. He’s put himself in this position, where everything he says is going to sound like butt-covering.

I am not a doctor or a scientist, so I don’t know if it is even possible that vitamin B-12 could cause you to fail a steroid test, or if it is possible to lace B-12 with Stanozolol. There are really two ways to look at this: if Rafael Palmeiro really never intentionally took steroids, then he was legitimately trying to think of anything unusual he had taken that might have caused the positive test, and Tejada’s vitamins fell into that category, so he mentioned them. On the other hand, if Palmeiro has been taking steroids knowingly, it is pretty much inexcusable for him to drag an innocent teammate into the discussion as a cop-out. Like everything else in this situation, until we know the basic answers, we will never know the answers to the more complex questions.

And now, as of this afternoon, the Orioles have officially shut Palmeiro down for the season. I will be shocked if Palmeiro ever plays another Major League game, and it still makes me very sad that he is so ruined, just a few months after everything was so promising.

My final thoughts on this situation for the night: I agree with what an unnamed NL General Manager said in this Jayson Stark column today:

“Somebody would have to do an awful lot of homework [to sign Palmeiro],” said the NL GM. “I read what was in the papers today. But I always get concerned about whether things were taken out of context in something like that. Was he trying to paint Miguel Tejada as the bad guy? Was he saying this in the same tone as Jose Canseco had in his book … or was he asked, ‘Do you ever share stuff with your teammates?’ and he said, ‘Well, Tejada gave me some of his B-12?’

I hope someday we have more information than we have today.