Epstein Talks

Some excerpts from an interview on WEEI today, via the Globe

On the Halladay chase:

I never got the sense that we were close, but we were pretty aggressive. We actually made J.P. [Ricciardi, Toronto's GM] an offer — we actually made several different offers — but our last offer was the most aggressive. It came the day before the deadline, and he said that it was a good offer, it was probably the best offer he had received, but that it wasn't . . . he was looking to get blown away, and it didn't blow him away.

On Youk's suspension:

Most times when you charge your mound and throw your helmet, you end up [suspended for] six games. Kevin, as a first-time offender, was lucky to get five.

On Papi and PEDs:

In David's case, what he told me right at the beginning resonated with me. He said, 'Look, this report is shocking to me. I haven't taken steroids and I want to find out what the heck I tested positive for. I need to talk to the union, I need to find out what's going on. As soon as I do . . . I'm not going to hide from this, I'm going to answer every single question.' When a player says something like that, which is refreshing given a normal response . . . hiding behind excuses or some sort of technical legal situation to not address the question head on . . . you want to stand behind him.
22 comments… add one
  • “. . . hiding behind excuses or some sort of technical legal situation to not address the question head on . . . ”
    Isn’t that exactly what Ortiz did? His ready-made excuse was maybe he took some supplements unknowingly. The legal situation is that he doesn’t exactly know what he tested positive for, and apparently he can’t get the info.

    AndrewYF August 13, 2009, 1:32 pm
  • I also found this quote interesting:
    On whether he asks players if they’ve used performance-enhancing drugs:
    Epstein: “I think if there’s reason to suspect a player has taken performance-enhancing drugs, I think it’s a general manager’s obligation to ask him. But if there’s no reason to suspect, it would not be appropriate to go player to player to player.”
    I wonder if he asked Eric Gagne, given that Epstein already pretty much knew he was a roider before he acquired him.

    AndrewYF August 13, 2009, 1:36 pm
  • very interesting article with Bronson Arroyo…
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/nl/reds/2009-08-12-arroyo-cover-unconcerned_N.htm
    he’s pretty candid, and a good read.

    dw (sf) August 13, 2009, 1:59 pm
  • Andrew, on your point re: Ortiz, I was going to somewhat disagree, and then I read the quote from Theo again and though, “nope you’re right on.”
    Re: Gagne, absolutely.

    I'mBillMcNeal August 13, 2009, 3:46 pm
  • “He said, ‘Look, this report is shocking to me. I haven’t taken steroids and I want to find out what the heck I tested positive for. I need to talk to the union, I need to find out what’s going on. As soon as I do . . . I’m not going to hide from this, I’m going to answer every single question.'”
    Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t Ortiz notified back when he failed the test that he did indeed fail the test? How can one be shocked by something they already knew? To the best of my knowledge, there was a meeting between Ortiz and someone from the PA telling him he failed or was on the list. Whatever the specifics, he knew or it was reported that he knew. Was Theo speaking of the recent report or speaking of back when this test was first taken and failed?
    As far as the not going to hide comment, I wouldn’t exactly call that press conference balls to the wall honest and open.
    I am going to regret making these comments because it’s not a Yankee thread and as of late it seems to some like I am attacking or picking on the Sox.

    John - YF August 13, 2009, 4:23 pm
  • “But the Mitchell report, which was released in December 2007, said that players who tested positive in 2003 were notified by the union after the tests were seized.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/sports/baseball/31doping.html
    Ok, so my mistake it wasn’t in 2003, but rather when the tests were seized.

    John - YF August 13, 2009, 4:29 pm
  • Correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t Ortiz notified back when he failed the test that he did indeed fail the test?
    This is one of the great questions. Players who tested positive in 2003 were notified, but apparently not everyone on the list actually tested positive, and not all those who tested positive tested positive for steroids.
    So it sounds like, from what the union is saying, that Ortiz could have shown up on the list but wasn’t told because 1. it turned out to be a false positive (came out negative on second test) or 2. the substance triggered the positive test was a byproduct of a legal supplement (like andro or its cousins).
    This is one of the problems with the way this story has been reported, particularly by the NYT (and this is what that link Nick pointed us to a few days ago was saying). We simply don’t know how many names are on the list or even why they’re on the list, yet there’s a widespread belief that it’s 104 players who did steroids. That apparently is not actually the case.

    Paul SF August 13, 2009, 4:29 pm
  • Great point Paul. My only point is even if all that is true, he couldn’t have been truly “shocked” even if it was only for use of _____ rather than ______. At some point his entourage of people had to tell him, hey you showed up on the list, etc…My skepticism doesn’t begin and end with Ortiz, so this is definitely not a Sox thing. This whole thing is a mess, with too many people claiming they never knew from top to bottom. Steriods, PED’s, etc… are rampant at the HS level more than ever. Even in a sport like baseball you can tell who does and who doesn’t. It’s hard to believe that at that level, with that amount of $$$ invested that so many people were just dumb to the situation. I am sick of talking about steroids yet I am the one who brought it up…uggh. It’s like eating potato chips.

    John - YF August 13, 2009, 4:37 pm
  • I also read some place that all the players on the list were supposed to be told when the list was seized, but that it didn’t necessarily happen.
    That Arroyo article is kind of amazing, the reality is that there is a huge grey area here, the average fan has been programmed to think PED=Steroids, which just isn’t the case. I also heard that substances are constantly being added and even in some cases subtracted from the banned list. WTF? You’re not dealing with the smartest group of people here, draw a line in the sand and stick to it. Although, I know that’s not totally realistic.

    LocklandSF August 13, 2009, 4:56 pm
  • Also, as John points out, this is not a Red Sox or Yankees thing, this is a MLB thing and we should all have learned by now to treat it that way.

    LocklandSF August 13, 2009, 4:58 pm
  • Arroyo has been very forthcoming since Ortiz’ name was leaked. A few days later he said something along the lines of “I know plenty of guys who have gotten false positives, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my name was on the list for all the supplements I take.” Seeing this interview is nice, considering MLB players are usually not forthcoming.

    Atheose August 13, 2009, 8:59 pm
  • Sounds like Arroyo is trying to jump on the “Ooh! False positive! Yeah! That’s me all right.” train.

    AndrewYF August 13, 2009, 10:30 pm
  • Someone comes forward proactively and sheds light on the situation, and you’re ready to persecute him without a shred of evidence. That’s sad, Andrew.

    Atheose August 13, 2009, 10:35 pm
  • He’s coming forward to profess his supposed innocence because he sees Ortiz giving a convenient excuse that can apply to anyone. I’m sorry, but there’s supposed to be something honorable about that?
    He’s jumping on the excuse train. It’s not a bad PR move, as evidenced by Ortiz’s hedging well ahead of time, but I really don’t see how anyone can see it as ‘coming forward’ when it’s a completely and utterly self-serving move.

    AndrewYF August 14, 2009, 12:08 am
  • Nevermind. I didn’t read the article full through, just skimmed it.
    Still doesn’t make him a good guy – he didn’t care whether his andro was laced with steroids? That makes you as bad as anyone who knowingly took them.

    AndrewYF August 14, 2009, 12:22 am
  • It makes him the first person to proactively explain things and shed light on a situation that is extremely complex right now. That’s a goddamn step in the right direction, no matter how your Yankees-biased mind wants to interpret it.

    Atheose August 14, 2009, 7:19 am
  • How is it Yankees-biased? Because he played for Boston that one time? I’d be saying the same exact things if he had come over to the Yankees at the deadline. Methinks your contempt for my opinion is more tainted than mine towards Arroyo.
    Anyway, how do you know he’s telling the whole truth? You don’t. Neither do I. He could be coming out ahead of his real steroids usage that the 2003 list could have uncovered, but that we’ll now likely chalk up to some story about supplements. No one really knows for sure, and one thing baseball has shown us is that you can never, ever, take anyone at their word regarding this stuff. Except maybe Canseco, who’s turned out to be right about nearly everything.
    All we know is that the guy was willing to put things in his body that he didn’t know fully what they were, only that they worked in making him play better. It’s nice that he’s explaining at least part of what he did, but let’s not brand him some kind of trail-blazing hero.

    AndrewYF August 14, 2009, 8:42 am
  • Anyway, how do you know he’s telling the whole truth? You don’t.
    Exactly, we don’t know what’s true. The difference between you and me is this: I’m using that lack of information to take him at his word, at least until incriminating evidence against him surfaces. You’re already branding him a steroid user without ANY evidence at all, aside from what he has come forward with.
    I said a few weeks ago that I wanted players to start proactively coming forward about stuff, instead of waiting for names on a list to be leaked. Maybe Arroyo is preemptively covering his ass, but maybe he’s not. Until substantial evidence against him is revealed (like if his name is on the 2003 list), I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt, and praise him for being proactive.
    If it turns out he was on the list in 2003, then I’ll be somewhat skeptical of what he’s said. But he’s the first, and only, player to proactively come forward and shed light on this situation. Yes he deserves some credit for that, and it’s absolutely a step in the right direction.

    Atheose August 14, 2009, 9:40 am
  • By the way Andrew, read the article fully before passing judgement. He knows exactly what he’s putting into his body; many of them are just in the “grey area” where they’re not banned, but not explicitly on the MLB approved list.
    He also says flat-out that he took andro, knowingly, because it wasn’t banned and he thought it could help him gain weight. He even says: “Man, I didn’t think twice about it.”
    That’s someone being as proactively truthful as possible, not someone trying to cover up what they did.

    Atheose August 14, 2009, 9:44 am
  • Sorry for the triple post, but the article also says this:
    “He says that to gain an edge he also took amphetamines for nearly nine years from 1998 to 2006…”
    That’s information that would never come out, since you can’t really test for amphetamines. He’s admitting to stuff he would have never gotten caught for. If more people came out the way he has then things would be a lot better for the sport right now.

    Atheose August 14, 2009, 9:46 am
  • No one really knows for sure, and one thing baseball has shown us is that you can never, ever, take anyone at their word regarding this stuff. Except maybe Canseco…
    Well there you go… you can trust some people about it. And if you can trust a guy like Canseco (nobody thought we’d be able to say that), why not Arroyo?
    As far as branding him a trail blazing hero, no one seems to be doing that. It’s just refreshing that someone appears to be giving some straight talk about PEDs/supplements from a players perspective. That’s something we’ve yet to get, from a former/current Yankee or Red Sox player. (we all agree any other team doesn’t count!)

    DUFF - SF August 14, 2009, 9:58 am
  • “Except maybe Canseco, who’s turned out to be right about nearly everything.”
    For any PED-related issue, just ask yourself: What Would Canseco Say? (WWCS)
    Jose Canseco is the TruthGiver.

    SoxFan August 14, 2009, 11:39 am

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