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Wait, someone has evidence that Rafael Palmeiro really was clean and is unwilling to do anything about it?

Jan 3, 2013, 8:25 AM EDT

Rafael Palmeiro

John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus has a Hall of Fame vote and has published a Hall of Fame column, and boy howdy does it have an interesting passage in it regarding Rafael Palmeiro, for whom he is voting:

Rafael Palmeiro: An extremely reliable source—with no ties to Palmeiro—told me an off-the-record story at the Winter Meetings that convinced me that Palmeiro was indeed a clean player and was tricked into using the steroid when he thought he was taking a shot of vitamin B-12 that led to his suspension and end of his career in 2005. Unfortunately, there would be too many legal ramifications to make the story public.

“Legal ramifications?” That’s … interesting. Normally I’d dismiss such stuff out of hand because it’s all so he-said, she-said sounding. But it is probably worth noting that, in Maryland, where Palmeiro was playing at the time of his positive PED test, there is no statute of limitations for felonies so, yes, someone may very well be worried about legal ramifications for assault or whatever you could think to classify drugging someone without their knowledge or consent.

Not that I’m prepared to actually buy this. After all, are we truly to believe that Rafael Palmeiro possesses convincing evidence that one of his teammates (or trainers or whoever) doped him, ending his career, ruining his legacy and putting him at risk of criminal prosecution for lying to Congress and yet Palmeiro is unwilling to say anything about it publicly? The man has became a disgrace and a laughingstock as a result of that positive test. The poster boy for lying cheaters, thanks to that finger-wag while under oath.  Is it reasonable, then, to assume that he has no incentive to clear his name with the convincing story Perrotto was told? He’s worried about someone getting in some relatively minor criminal trouble and is willing to wear the goat horns the rest of his life because of it?

Or I suppose maybe he doesn’t know. In that case, there is apparently someone working in baseball — the guy was at the Winter Meetings after all — with evidence that would clear Palmeiro’s name, yet rather than bring it to anyone’s attention who could do something about it, is simply telling to baseball writers, off the record, over drinks at the lobby bar in the Opryland Hotel. What kind of a person is that?

I don’t know. It all sounds like far-fetched bar talk. I can say this much, though: if there is any truth to this, it brings us back to the old dynamic of the PED story in baseball: people, including writers, knowing what’s really going on, yet no one being all that interested in exposing it. How very shameful. And, in some ways, how very appropriate.

  1. stex52 - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    What would the New Year be without our first conspiracy hypothesis?

    If it is even remotely true, then it paints Palmeiro as one of the more stupid people alive.

    • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      Did you happen to watch any C-Span over the last two weeks? Palmiero is wa-a-a-a-ay-y-y-y down the list.

      • heyblueyoustink - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:53 AM

        There’s still a C-Span? I thought they were absorbed by TMZ?

      • stex52 - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:57 AM

        Good point. I’d take Rafael over my Representative. Or my new Senator.

    • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      Looks like a few congressmen read my post and thumbed me down. Hey, if they were marginally bright enough to know I was talking about them, maybe there’s some hope after all.

      • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        @heyblue: final steps were taken in or near Washington this weekend to secure the merger of the US government with TMZ General Corp. This former zinc bushing…..

      • stex52 - Jan 3, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        “And there’s hamburger all over the highway in Mystic, Connecticutt.”

      • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        Good evening, those are the headlines. Now, the rumors behind the news….

    • sypryce - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:42 PM

      Or perhaps he’s the Palmerio I’ve seen all these years, a man of class unwilling to do something that might impact someone who also may be innocent. I say this, anyone who has been around him, has met him knows he is a man of class. Also, if you stand beside him you will realize he’s nothing like Barry Bonds or any of the other big ball hitters who are known to have used steroids. He’s not a muscle bound behemouth. Just a soft spoken guy with wonderful hand eye coordination like he’s always been with a unique ability to hit a baseball.

  2. DonRSD - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    The truth doesn’t take this long to come out.
    Waive that finger @ Cooperstown Raf, you won’t be getting in.

    • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      “The truth doesn’t take this long to come out.”

      Right. Remember you said that the next time the nice old man down your street is deported for having been a concentration camp guard.

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:43 AM

    Palemrio effectively said the same thing at the time – that it was Tejada’s stuff, and he thought it was B-12.

    I still would love someone to explain the motive to me – why would soemone want to dope Palmeiro without his knowledge? It makes no sense

    • darthicarus - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      Take a guy that’s already a good hitter, give him a little extra something to help him stay fresh & recover a little bit quicker, and poof your team’s offense gets a little extra jolt with him being able to play more at a higher physical level,

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:08 AM

        If that was the reason, then wouldn’t that person do it to every teammate? Or at least several others?

      • darthicarus - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:23 AM

        @Delaware – some people have ethics & morals?

      • dontfeedgigantor - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:12 PM


        Perhaps because of the risk involved. I don’t know how does its testing, but I can give you my experience with drug testing from being in the military. They would do two different kinds of tests: command-wide, and random tests.

        Command-wide is self-explanatory; everyone at the command pees in a cup, no exceptions. The problem is that testing all that urine is incredibly expensive. Word had it that the military would only test about a quarter of those samples, so your chances of actually being tested were relatively low. The command’s strategy was to take the positives and get them to rat their friends out. Hence, they wouldn’t actually have to test each sample (at least not initially) to find the majority of people who were using drugs. I’m not sure exactly what percentage they do test, but by my observation, the “word on the street” seemed to be pretty accurate.

        The other thing to note is that command-wide tests didn’t happen all that frequently. Random testing happened much more frequently, but was very limited in number, and some people (like myself) just happened to not get tested very often at all (I think I was selected for maybe 2 random tests over 5 years). Not saying I did this at all, but we often had some idea of when the random tests were coming and knew to expect about 1 command-wide a year, so it wouldn’t be very difficult for someone who used drugs on a semi-regular basis to evade a positive test for many years (provided they were discrete about it and didn’t associate with people more open and risky about it).

        My point is that even with standard testing in place, your chances of getting caught seem to increase almost exponentially with each additional person involved. Hence, it’s only smart not to dope your entire team, with or without their knowledge, if you have any hope of not getting caught.

      • dontfeedgigantor - Jan 4, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Why is there no edit button?

        The above comment should say “I don’t know how MLB does its testing…”

    • tcostant - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      I’m not saying I believe this, but here is your ” why would soemone want to dope Palmeiro without his knowledge?”.

      Lets assume Tejada was a user and it has helped him. And he knew Palmeiro was struggling and knew his views on PED. So, he tells him it’s a B-12 shot to help his team mate hit better, no other reason or malice.

      Again, I’m not saying this happen, just an answer to “why” question.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Yea….but that is kinda like getting caught with porn on your computer screen and claiming you typed in the wrong URL.

        Mind you, I know nothing of such scenarios as I just mentioned. That is what others have told me 😉

    • albertmn - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      It is possible that it was less about doping Palmeiro intentionally and more about someone that was already using lying about what he was using. If Palmeiro had then asked to try some of someone else’s “B12”, how could they really deny him some at that point without admitting they were using roids? But, that would then ultimately fall back on Palmeiro to know exactly what he is putting in his body.

    • Fruitland Generic Citizen - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      The rumor has always been that Miggi suspected Raffy of, well, activities with Miggi’s wife, and this was his preferred method of revenge. I think it has about as much truth as the Cal Ripken / Kevin Costner rumors, but take it for what you will.

      • stex52 - Jan 3, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        Cal Ripken? Kevin Costner? Enlighten us, please.

      • DJ MC - Jan 3, 2013 at 2:30 PM


        It involves a game that was cancelled at Camden Yards in the mid-90s due to a power failure that prevented the lights from working. The rumor said that earlier that day Cal walked in on his wife and Kevin Costner (who was in Maryland at the time for a movie), and was so distraught he was unable to play. So the “power failure” was concocted to cover the event and keep The Streak going.

        It’s one of those goofy urban legends on par with Mr. Rogers the Marine sniper and the hospitalizations of Rod Stewart and Richard Gere. Snopes even debunked it.

      • stex52 - Jan 3, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        Thanks. That’s more bizarre than most.

        Mr. Rogers wasn’t a sniper?? :-O

      • Old Gator - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:16 AM

        I was distraught when I found out that the Richard Gere hamster was a myth. I thought it was one of his Zen exercises.

      • dexterismyhero - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:14 PM

        Richard Gere and the “Gerbel Habitat Trail Kit”.

        Hey, it’s really dark in here!!! What’s that smell?

      • sypryce - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        He’s been married to his wife since 1985 and has had no accusations of any playing around. He’s a class act all the way.

  4. jarathen - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    This is why moralizing about PED use is damaging to the game. We’ll never know the entire story, so to judge players based on our limited understanding of the events surrounding these player’s careers is both arrogant and an overestimation of our knowledge of the story.

    • Old Gator - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:17 AM

      Who needs understanding? They were all guilty. There’s nothing as useless as a decommissioned scapegoat.

  5. heyblueyoustink - Jan 3, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    The Smoking Man, he must be behind this. It’s the only explanation.

    • aceshigh11 - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      Well, he did say that the Buffalo Bills would never win a Superbowl while he was alive…ever.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:02 AM

    Palmiero is a Hall of Famer. Period. The fact that he isn’t in is ridiculous.

    • atworkident - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:10 AM

      If Palmiero does get into the Hall he should go in as an Oriole as punishment and a reminder.

    • El Bravo - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      Fiorenteezy! What up! Happy New Year and death to the Phillies, my friend! Well, not death, but let’s hope for a sub-.500 record shall we? Also, I’m calling you Fiorenteezy this year. New thing.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        I’m Fiorent-eezy like Sunday Morning, so that is fine with me. Phillies will come back with a vengeance this year. With the improved bullpen and Howard/Utley for a full season, I expect them to be a Wild Card team comfortably…at worst.

      • El Bravo - Jan 3, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Reasonable expectations. I certainly think the Braves and Phils will be fighting for second again with the Natty Lites gunning for first again. We shall see.

      • Old Gator - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        I expect the Feesh to play spoiler. Everything about them is going to stink.

      • cur68 - Jan 3, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        I smugly nod at these predictions. Smug because…well, you know…

      • stex52 - Jan 3, 2013 at 1:17 PM

        I anticipate the Astros fans spending the season wishing their team fit into some conversation other than “So, who’s going to get the first draft pick?”

  7. chaseutley - Jan 3, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    “An extremely reliable source,” huh? Why doesn’t he just start out his article with, “This is probably total BS but….?”

  8. mflores2013 - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    I totally believe him. In fact here is documented proof on camera to top it off:

  9. Beezo-Doo-doo-Zippity-Bop-bop-bop - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:20 AM


  10. bigleagues - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    First of all, gossip over drinks at the Winter Meetings is like turning to Kathie Lee and Hoda for deep thoughts.

    Having said that, I suppose it could be believable if we assume that Tejada is the person who potentially faces felony charges – with the thinking being that a player wouldn’t ‘rat’ on another player placing them in legal jeopardy. Especially when the player who would be in question is still playing (earning a living).

    If that is the case, then were in store for a high stakes game of chicken with each year that goes by and Palmeiro becomes more and more exasperated by his flaccid bid for the HOF.

    • antifreeze27 - Jan 3, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      I see what you did there using the word “flaccid”

      • bigleagues - Jan 3, 2013 at 11:53 AM


    • jwbiii - Jan 3, 2013 at 4:45 PM

      Big Leagues, Tejada did face charges and pleaded guilty. QED.

  11. El Bravo - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:41 AM

    Ryan Braun pissed in his beer.

    • Old Gator - Jan 4, 2013 at 12:23 AM

      Ah – no wonder they took his driver’s license away.

  12. ray1950 - Jan 3, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    On one hand you point out the fact that there is no statute of limitations for felonies in Maryland, and on the other hand you question why Palmeiro is worried about someone getting in some relatively minor criminal trouble. The last I knew, a felony conviction isn’t considered “minor criminal trouble”.

  13. randygnyc - Jan 3, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    Jarathen- we only know so little only because of the players continued obfuscation of the facts. Their continued deception is the only reason all the facts aren’t known. And until they are more forthcoming about its usage and effects, straight from those hundreds of players, they may escape a guilty verdict, but will be held in contempt, by the HOF voters.

  14. chacochicken - Jan 3, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Well, if he got one “B12” shot that was a steroid he probably wouldn’t be able to tell nor would it have any sort of real benefit over the course of a season. Therefore he likely was getting a regular cycle of “B12” from, let’s assume Miguel Tejeda, which is a sensational idea in the first place but RP would have to notice some fairly significant non B12 related changes to his physiology. Maybe it was some sort of Training Day-esque scenario?
    Also, for those that don’t know B12 raises WAR*
    *This statement has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

  15. theSC1320 - Jan 3, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    “Unfortunately, there would be too many legal ramifications to make the story public.”

    Maybe ramifications means to him “the social cost of going back into the public and trying to correct it.” It’s hard to correct an injustice in the social realm, let alone the legal realm. Just look at how people now treat Braun. Even if Raffy cleared his name, The Curse of the Steroid age is upon him.

    Even with a legal judgement clearing him….What writers would and wouldn’t put their name on a Hall vote for him? Again, just look to Braun’s case, a court said he was innocent due to technicalities, but see how many still hold him guilty.

    I’m curious from a legal standpoint, what kind of actual evidence could be presented to “clear” his name? Someone just saying, “Oh, actually it was me that did it to him.” It doesn’t seem strong enough?

  16. cowboysoldiertx - Jan 3, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I believe he did get a taited shot. Call me stupid but it just feels true to me.

  17. schmedley69 - Jan 3, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    I saw Palmeiro and Armando Benitez at a Hooter’s in Baltimore once. Raffy is pretty short. No wonder he needed to juice.

  18. coloradogolfcoupons - Jan 4, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    Why hasn’t anyone taken Raffy’s congressional statement and fed it into the voice-stress analyzer that works as a lie detector? Because it is unreliable?

  19. dontfeedgigantor - Jan 4, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    It’s official: the reaction to the steroids “scandal” and the subsequent aftermath is far more damaging to baseball than the scandal itself (at least in my mind).

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