Fehr acknowledges past, looks forward
Baseball union head Donald Fehr began his annual tour of spring training camps yesterday in Jupiter, Fla., with steroids back in the spotlight.
"Everybody understands that there were things which happened in the early part of the decade which we wish hadn't, that that's not the case anymore," Fehr said after meeting with Marlins players.
"We fixed the problem and we need to look forward, as [commissioner] Bud [ Selig] has said many times."
Fehr said he didn't think Selig will take disciplinary action against Alex Rodriguez, who admitted Feb. 9 that he used a banned substance from 2001-03. Rodriguez confessed two days after Sports Illustrated reported he was on a list of 104 players who tested positive in the 2003 survey. Selig said Rodriguez shamed the sport.
Testing in 2003 was to be confidential. Fehr rejected the suggestion all players in 2003 are under suspicion because 104 tested positive.
"We know what happened in 2003," Fehr said. "The number of positives we had was slightly over 5 percent. That means that slightly over 94 percent was negative."
Also, Hall of Famer Cal Ripken said Rodriguez's accomplishments now will carry an asterisk. Ripken said in a Bloomberg Television interview that it was a "shock" when Rodriguez said this month that his cousin had injected him with an over-the-counter substance.
The former Orioles star said Rodriguez and Barry Bonds will get a tougher time from baseball fans and Hall of Fame voters, and added, "A cloud of steroids is hanging over baseball, and I'd like that to go away."