When last we left Bronson Arroyo, he was telling the world on the eve of the trading deadline that he took androstenedione and amphetamines back in 2003, and that he wouldn’t be surprised to see his name pop up on baseball’s “secret” steroids list. The Reds, who were trying to trade him, were then shocked to learn there were no takers. So Arroyo remains on his yacht, strumming his guitar as a member of the Reds. Wait, they have yachts in Cincinnati?
Anyway, our long-haired hero — who seems more like he should be a character in “John From Cincinnati” than a pitcher for Cincinnati — is amplifying his steroids remarks, even though no one is asking. Seems smart to me!
Take a look at this graph from today’s USA TODAY piece on Arroyo by Bob Nightengale. Your head will make comical rattling noises when you shake it in disbelief:
He shakes out the contents like a kid on Halloween night. There are different-colored pills, powders, liquids, proteins, caffeine concentrates and ginseng, products such as creatine, Triflex and xelR8 found at local vitamin stores. Most of the products have not been approved by Major League Baseball for use by players, Arroyo says. Some of the items have the potential to trigger a positive test under baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Arroyo takes them anyway.
Arroyo says that he takes so many supplements that it’s hard to keep track — even taking some not approved by baseball. He doesn’t do any of the hard steroid stuff, and not even androstenedione anymore, since it was banned by MLB in 2004. But that hasn’t stopped him from taking other drugs that many think can cause positive readings in a drug test. He says he just doesn’t care:
“I have a lot of guys in (the locker room) who think I’m out of (my) mind because I’m taking a lot of things not on the (MLB-approved) list,” Arroyo says. “I take 10 to 12 different things a day, and on the days I pitch, there’s four more things. There’s a caffeine drink I take from a company that (former teammate) Curt Schilling introduced me to in ‘05. I take some Korean ginseng and a few other proteins out there that are not certified. But I haven’t failed any tests, so I figured I’m good.”
Arroyo says he takes many of the drugs that are not on MLB’s list of approved substances, sometimes ingesting them right under the actual “not approved as clean substances” sign in the Reds clubhouse:
Arroyo says he has heard it and doesn’t care. He has an 81-81 career record, was a 2006 All-Star, has made the most starts of any pitcher in baseball since 2006 and has never gone on the disabled list.
“People can think what they want of me,” he says. “I don’t give a f—-.”
Then this, where he actually has a point:
“I can see where guys like Hank Aaron and some of the old-timers have a beef with it,” Arroyo says. “But as far as looking at Manny Ramirez like he’s (serial killer) Ted Bundy, you’re out of your mind. At the end of the day, you think anybody really (cares) whether Manny Ramirez’s kidneys fail and he dies at 50?
“You were happy if the Red Sox won 95 games. You’d go home, have a cookout with your family. No big deal.”
He’s right: Nothing’s going to change until someone actually cares — not just pretends to care. In the meantime, watch Arroyo closely. With everything he’s taking, he’s liable to sprout wings, cease being a carbon-based life form or change into The Incredible Hulk when he gets mad. And it could be any day.