Jones: Steroid Question Could Dog A-Rod
Wednesday, August 8, 2007; 11:57 PM
NEW YORK -- Chipper Jones predicted Alex Rodriguez will be the next player answering questions about steroids if he gets close to breaking the home run record.
The Atlanta Braves star said Wednesday that A-Rod probably will face suspicions about steroid use _ just as new home run king Barry Bonds has _ because Jose Canseco recently hinted he has salacious information to disclose about Rodriguez.
"I don't doubt it," Jones said. "There's been a lot of validation to some of the things that Jose Canseco has said over the years. At first when it came out a lot of people didn't want to give him a lot of credit for it. But a lot of it has been proven true. Now, when he opens his mouth, people listen. And unfortunately, this cloud is following probably two of the best players of this century."
Canseco, who hit 462 homers during his 17-year major league career, attracted the attention of Congress in 2005 with an autobiography, "Juiced," that accused several top players of steroid use. They included Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro, who later was suspended for violating baseball's steroids policy.
Canseco also admitted using steroids.
Last month, the 1988 AL MVP told WEEI-Radio in Boston that in an upcoming book he has "other stuff" on Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger who recently became the youngest member of the 500-homer club.
Canseco said A-Rod was a "hypocrite" and "was not all he appeared to be," according to ESPN.com. But Canseco wouldn't say whether A-Rod had used steroids.
Rodriguez has declined to comment.
"I think it will follow him," Jones said. "There's going to be the questions because his name's been brought up. If I had to pose a guess on A-Rod, I would say no. But I don't know. He's going to have to answer the questions. And that goes for everybody that approaches the number. It's just so farfetched, the numbers that those guys are putting up. And a lot of it comes from the era that they're playing in."
Bonds broke Hank Aaron's career mark with his 756th homer Tuesday night and insisted the record is not tainted. Asked what he thought, Jones said: "I'm going to reserve judgment. Let's put it that way."
"But it's unfortunate for the game that there is such a cloud hanging over it. Hopefully, everything will come out and Barry will be cleared and we can all say that Barry is the true home run champ and that there is no asterisk, there's nothing tainted," Jones said.
"There's nothing any of us ballplayers would want more, to be honest with you. Because I'm playing in the steroid era. Everything that I do is going to be judged. It's the same with a lot of good ballplayers that have put up a lot of good numbers in this era that did it the right way."
Jones, who hit a two-run double against the New York Mets on Wednesday night, also pointed to baseball's ongoing steroids investigation, led by former Senate majority leader George Mitchell.
"Time is going to tell for a lot of people, until this Mitchell investigation is complete. And it's not just (Bonds and Rodriguez), but they're the poster children because they are the two best players in the game, or have been. It's inevitable. It's just the way things are now," Jones said.