A-Rod in 2009: “I stopped taking it in ’03 and haven’t taken it since”

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Just a reminder, as the info from the Miami New Times report sinks in, what Alex Rodriguez had to say at his 2009 press conference after he was revealed to have tested positive for PEDs during baseball’s pilot testing program:

“Going back to 2001, my cousin started telling me about a substance that you could purchased over the counter in the DR [Dominican Republic]. In the streets, it’s known as ‘boli’ or ‘bole.’ It was his understanding that it would give me a dramatic energy boost and [was] otherwise harmless. My cousin and I, one more ignorant than the other, decided it was a good idea to start taking it … I stopped taking it in ’03 and haven’t taken it since.”

The entire transcript of that press conference can be read here.

When we talk about Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, we’re talking about players who allegedly (but far from conclusively) lied about their PED use which, based on the best evidence available, took place prior to MLBs institution of testing and enforcement for banned substances.

With A-Rod, we have a player who, unless the records in this new report were fabricated, clearly lied about his drug use and continued to take banned drugs long after MLB’s testing and real enforcement of its drug policies began.  To the extent judgments are to be passed on these respective players’ acts now and in the future, I think this distinction is pretty significant.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.