Monday, August 17, 2009

Arroyo: Yeah I take unapproved supplements, what of it?

In a shocking story that was released last week, Bronson Arroyo talked candidly with the media about his continuing supplement use, including his use of androstenedione for six seasons, a substance that was banned by Major League Baseball in 2004. Even more shocking than the story itself is the low amount of press it is getting - comparitively, the Youkilis-Porcello incident got three days on ESPN to Arroyo's one. It's understandable that the media wants to start filtering out these supplement-use stories from the news, because people will just continue making their own judgments anyways, but Arroyo's case is much different than Ortiz or Ramirez's, to use recent examples. Unlike the 100-some names on this supposed "list" from 2003, Bronson is and has been flaunting his use of various drugs, many of which have not been approved by Major League Baseball. He keeps his Halloween-like assortment of pills, powders, and liquids in plain sight in his locker, and he's proud of it.

In a story covered by USA Today, Arroyo admits to using "10-12 different things a day, and on the days I pitch, there's four more things." Among these things are a caffeine drink, Korean ginseng, various muscle enhancers like Creatine and TriFlex, various proteins, and vitamins. Many of these things seem harmless, but many have not been approved yet by Major League Baseball, and Arroyo says that he will continue taking them until either the MLB bans them, or until he fails a drug test. It's not uncommon for over-the-counter supplements to be laced with some sort of steroid, and a failed drug test seems to be a very real possibility. But Bronson, cool and brutally honest as always, isn't letting it bother him: "I haven't failed any tests, so I figure I'm good...I'm not going to stop now...People can think what they want of me, I don't give a f---."

I searched far and wide for any follow-up responses to this, or any sort of news coverage outside of Cincinnati media markets, and I could not come up with anything other than a short AP release stating that Bronson has not yet been contacted by Major League Baseball, insofar that he knows. There are a few lesser-known online sources talking about this, but nothing from or ESPN, and the commissioner's offices seems content on letting this slide. Kevin Youkilis gets a five-game suspension for charging the mound, but a guy that says he's been taking supplements since he was five and that KFC is more dangerous than steroids, and who would probably test positive for several different things, gets no discipline? It just goes to show you that people really don't care what happens off the field as long as their team wins, and Bronson agrees. The shock value of the steroid era is gone. "It might be dangerous," Arroyo says, "but so is drinking and driving. And how many of us do it at least once a year? Pretty much everybody...I don't regret a thing. Neither should anyone else." I don't advocate Arroyo's drug use, but he doesn't seem to either - he clearly wants to be punished. He is admittedly a product of that era and indirectly seems to be challenging baseball to release that supposed "list." However sick of it the public may be, baseball needs more honest, opinionated players like Arroyo to get us past all of this for once and for all. Now please don't write a book about it, then say you regret releasing the information and go bankrupt like Jose Canseco.

Brewers 58-59, -8.0 (3 @ Pirates, 4 @ Nationals)
Reds 50-67, -16.0 (3 v. Giants, 3 @ Pirates)
Twins 56-61, -6.0 (4 @ Rangers, 3 @ Royals)

Erik - 37 (+21 worked)
Peter - 49

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