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Juan Gonzalez on steroids: "I never used any of that stuff"

Apr 14, 2010, 9:39 AM EDT

Juan Gonzaelz.jpgJuan Gonzalez sat for an interview with ESPNDeportes.com on Monday, during which he denied ever taking steroids, saying “I never used any of that stuff,” and saying “I have nothing to hide. Nothing.” This is consistent with what he said in 2005: “It’s not true . . . I never saw needles. I never saw pills. I never saw
anything . . . The only guys who have put needles in my body are
doctors.”

George Mitchell, you may recall, reported differently:

On the evening of October 4, 2001, Canadian Border Service officers working at Toronto’s international airport discovered steroids, syringes, and clenbuterol in an unmarked duffel bag during an airport search of luggage that had been unloaded from the Cleveland Indians flight from Kansas City. Ted Walsh, the Indians equipment and clubhouse manager who was present during the search, recognized the bag as one that had been sent down to be included with the luggage by Cleveland outfielder Juan Gonzalez when the Indians left Kansas City . . .

. . . Joshue Perez, a member of Juan Gonzalez’s entourage, claimed the duffel bag . . . he told [Border Service Officers] that the bag belonged to Angel (“Nao”) Presinal, Gonzalez’s  personal trainer, who would be arriving in Toronto on a later flight. As soon as he arrived at the hotel, Presinal was detained by law enforcement officers. In an interview at the hotel, Presinal denied that the bag belonged to him and asserted that it belonged to, and had been packed by, Gonzalez.

Gonzalez’s comments about the Mitchell Report: “What does Mitchell know about baseball? He never played baseball.”  Because that so clearly has anything to do with anything.

The Mitchell Report was a severely flawed enterprise, but that’s simply because it was tremendously under-inclusive, gathering only the lowest hanging fruit of baseball’s PED problem. There has been no credible evidence, however, to suggest that anything that was included in it was inaccurate.  More to the point, the story about Gonzalez’s bag has never been refuted, and his relationship with trainer Angel Presinal — a man so steroid-tainted that baseball banned him from clubhouses even while it was turning a blind eye towards the Kirk Radomskis, Brian McNamees and Greg Andersons of the world — is problematic, to say the least.

Gonzalez’s denial should be seen for what it is: a counter-factual public relations exercise. And while we’re talking about him, he didn’t deserve either of his MVP awards.

  1. Jval13 - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Gonzalez has long been one of the guys I have included as one of the more obvious guys to have taken roids that hasn’t admitted or been completely proven. Pretty much everyone on those Texas teams is looking pretty bad. Pudge took them too, he went from a 10 homer guy to a 30 homer guy, then back to 10. That gives you Gonzalez, Canseco, Palmeiro and Pudge from that team, who else over there was using? The whole team?

  2. rick - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    Unless we can see a noticable reduction in these players size and output, they are probably still using something.

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    That’s not necessarily true. All people — not just athletes — are larger and more productive in physical endeavors today than they were several years ago. Nutrition and training methods leads to bigger and stronger athletes.

  4. Jack Meoffer - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    What still amazes me is now that the “users” are coming out of the closet (really cesspool) they all claim it did not help them hit one homerun. Really ? Who was that going from 20 homeruns to over 50 in a year (Anderson, Gonzalez). And those hitting in the 40’s were going past 50, 60, and 70 homeruns. 500 foot homeruns were being hit more consistenly in the history of baseball. And now that the “steroid era” appears to be over, you are not seeing guys coming out of nowhere with huge homerun totals or the distances that were once being hit.
    They were cheaters all over. Pitchers and hitters alike. I only understand with one point. If the hitters were getting all juiced up then what were the pitchers to do ? Just sit there and watch the ERA’s go to 10 and get their butts kicked every outing ? I guess it is over because you are not seeing many 38 year olds having amazing seasons like the suddenly had in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

  5. Ryan - Apr 14, 2010 at 10:59 AM

    LOL. The facts paint a much different picture. It’s one thing to say that you didn’t take steroids but you were aware of their existence in the clubhouse and availability”. This is expected at this point of anyone in the Rangers clubhouse during that time frame. Outright denial of any awareness is laughable though. See you never again!

  6. Dball - Apr 14, 2010 at 11:37 AM

    Juan, your pants are on fire.

  7. Modifier - Apr 14, 2010 at 12:49 PM

    Response to Craig Calcaterra…I totally agree with you!
    Just because a person is an athlete and built strong doesn’t mean they are on drugs.
    It seems those athletes get labeled by out-of-shape people looking to blame their own flabby self for not using drugs like athletes.
    Do I believe that athletes use drugs, yes. But not all. The only person that I am completely convinced that used drugs is Brett Boone for the Seattle Mariners. He was pretty much an over-night change.
    It’s almost like women saying that a female model is built the way she is due to surgery…not always the fact. I know many women who work their butt off with jealous results.

  8. George Roumain - Apr 14, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    That is because they are using HGH or steroids. Even Jose Canseco and Ken Caminitti said that 75-80% of the league was cheating yet you idiots still keep looking the other way. Basketball, football and baseball are all full of cheaters and for some reason they refuse to actually get tough on them.

  9. Rays fan - Apr 14, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    There you go again, Craig, defendin’ those cheatin’ bast… oh, wait…
    I agree with every point, although I guess he COULD be telling the truth about only letting doctors use needles on him since there’s been more than one doctor alleged/found to deal PEDs illegally.

  10. ssweeps - Apr 14, 2010 at 4:48 PM

    Juan, how did your conversation go with Roger Clemens? Like this?
    Hey Roger, how do I handle this??
    Juan, just DENY, DENY, DENY (Or just lie) no one will find out…
    YOU WILL NEVER MAKE THE HOF UNLESS YOU BUY A TICKET! BUM!

  11. Libservative - Apr 14, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    These conversations are a waste of time. We’ll never know for sure who used and who didn’t back then. MLB could have caught the cheaters early if they’d simply tested. They should have then, and should now, test every single player once a week. No exceptions.
    But Bud will never do that. Why? He’s too afraid of the union, and another strike. As long as baseball makes money and there’s no labor problems, Bud will never upset the apple cart.

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