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Blue Jays players from the Dominican talk about PED use in the Dominican

Aug 9, 2013, 11:33 AM EDT

Injured Toronto Blue Jays player Jose Reyes smiles as his team plays the Tampa Bay Rays in their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto Reuters

Interesting article from Richard Griffin, in which he talks to Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion about the alarming number of Dominican players who were involved in the Biogenesis mess and PED stuff in general.  Each of them talks about why that may be and what could be done about it.

I find it interesting in that they all don’t see the matter the same way. One talks about the clear incentives to escape poverty, but others talk about how baseball education and cultural stuff could be playing a part too.

No real grand takeaways here, but it’s neat to hear guys talking about the problem in rational Earth-bound terms rather than turning it into a morality play.

  1. sdelmonte - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    I’m glad someone addressed this question in a totally non-sensational way. It’s hard to ask it without running the risk of crossing a line or two in terms of race issues. But clearly, it can be done.

  2. proudlycanadian - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:14 PM

    Interesting story. Each player’s comments reflected their own background. Reyes had natural talent that did not need chemical enhancement. Bautista came from middle class family and earned a scholarship in the US. He is highly intelligent. Encarnacion always seems to live in his own world. He is even keeled and does seem to be immune from outside pressures. They are very different people than Melky Cabrera who did succumb to temptation.

  3. jwbiii - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Steroid suspensions by the player’s country of origin (includes minor leaguers):

    Year   All   US   DO   VE   Other Missing
    Total  448  101  208   86    22    30

    56 of the 101 US born players were busted in 2005, the first full year of testing for penalties.
    Most of the players within unknown birth countries were DSL players, which does necessarily mean that they were Dominican.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      And here I thought missing meant MLB made the players… Disappear! (cue conspiracy music)

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        And we though ARod’s punishment was harsh!

      • historiophiliac - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        Selig disappeared them.

    • rpearlston - Aug 9, 2013 at 3:49 PM

      One of the problems here is the relative lack of regulation of drugs and supplements in most Latin American countries. The stuff is easily available, and that frequently means available without a prescription. That includes problems with the labeling that can legally keep stuff off the label. Combine that with a willingness to do anything to earn the money to move their families up a notch or more and the (not unusual) circumstance of not having a lot of formal education, and you have a recipe for PED and other substance abuse.

      • jwbiii - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        Absolutely. Half of the PED busts for Dominican players are for stanozolol, which is primarily used to put muscle mass on cattle. I’m speculating here, but I think this is pretty readily available in the DR at what we in the US would call a feed & seed store.

  4. DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:26 PM

    “but it’s neat to hear guys talking about the problem in rational Earth-bound terms rather than turning it into a morality play”

    Yes, because as we all know, any who has a moral issue with PED’s is from another planet

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:31 PM

      No, but anyone whose moral take is “anyone who uses PEDs does so because they are evil cheaters who cheat and are evil and there is no other motivation at play” is from some planet I don’t want to be a part of.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        I agree – if they use words to that effect. I find very few do

    • historiophiliac - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:04 PM

      I think that was a dig at Superman.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        And I will not stand for it!!!

  5. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:08 PM

    Can we believe their opinions though? Everyone know you can’t trust Dominicans.

  6. madhatternalice - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    But they wouldn’t all talk about it the same way, would they? It would be the same thing as if the Guardian interviewed three random MLS American-born players. Situationally, all three of those players came from different backgrounds, and approached the game a different way. Really, the major thing they have in common is that they are all from the same country, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that they all reacted differently.

    Great article, though. Thanks for linking!

  7. granadafan - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    Not to condone the use of PEDs, but there’s not a clear discourgement to not use PEDs (triple negative?). If the PED use gets them to The Show and a nice fat contract, then what’s a little embarassment and loss of a paycheck for 50 games when caught? Until MLB voids those contracts, like Braun’s 120 million, then the players will continue to use the drugs. Braun loses 3 million. Whoopdie damn doo. He still gets 119 million for cheating and one MVP trophy.

  8. dirtyharry1971 - Aug 9, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    I wouldn’t trust one player from that part of the world not to be using

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