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Bronson Arroyo's Supplements

Last night, Bronson Arroyo tossed a two-hit shutout of the Nationals, leaving Washington's batters utterly perplexed with a mix of deceptive delivery and a strong breaking ball. Today, he'll hope he can pass a drug test if someone presents a cup for him to pee in.

According to USA Today, Arroyo is the rare (possibly only), player who openly flaunts MLB's supplement program. The pitcher will take anything and everything he thinks can help his performance, regardless if that means he's running the risk of a positive test under the league's banned substances agreement.

It's a rash strategy, but one that you almost assume more players take than don't. With millions of dollars riding on sustained performance in the major leagues, taking as many over-the-counter supplements as possible, regardless of effect, is precisely the kind of calculated risk that you'd expect more players to try out.

Why they don't, or at least why they say they don't, may have much more to do with the stigma against performance enhancing drugs in contemporary sports. Because of the taint of scandal attached with Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and a host of baseball's greatest, no player can feel safe about admitting use of androstenedione -- a steroid precursor the ultra-light (6-foor-4, 190 pounds) Arroyo has taken since 1998 -- or any other supplement that might inadvertently trigger a positive steroids test.

"It's an ethical issue as much as anything," said Gary Wadler, an internist and member of the World Anti-Doping Agency. "It's supposed to be about a level playing field, not a trick of getting as close to the edge as possible without falling over."

Arroyo has a very different, and very vocal, take, as you can see after the jump ...

You want an inflammatory, outspoken, unique take on the steroids scandal? Just ask Arroyo himself. All these quotes come from the USA Today article, though the Reds starter has articulated a number of them in other places as well.

  • "When you're trying to establish yourself and you've got people saying, 'Try this, it will help you get stronger,' I'm trying (it). There was nothing to be caught about because nobody was testing."
  • "People can think what they want of me," he says. "I don't give a f---."
  • "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."
  • "I have no idea what David Ortiz or Manny Ramirez took," Arroyo says. "Ballplayers aren't nearly as tight as people think they are. ... I've never had a guy I played with say, 'Dude, check out what I'm taking.' Now, if you get it over the counter, that's different."
  • "I think I could have had the same career without andro. The best years of my career have been after they enacted the steroids policy."
  • "That stuff's (amphetamines) like bubblegum compared to steroids. You're playing (night games) in L.A., you fly across the country, and you're pitching a day game at Wrigley (Field in Chicago). You telling me you don't want something to wake you up? You have half this country, maybe more, that can't function without a cup of coffee. You don't want me to get Albert Pujols out? Give me a break. If you give me (the amphetamine) Adderall, and I strike out Pujols in the seventh inning with the bases loaded, there's a pretty good chance I'm going to want to take that Adderall the next time."
  • "It might be dangerous, but so is drinking and driving. And how many of us do it at least once a year? Pretty much everybody."
  • "You think this country really cares about what ballplayers put in their bodies? If we really care, why are we pumping Coca-Cola in every kid's mouth, and McDonald's, and Burger King and KFC? That (stuff) is killing people."
  • "I don't regret a thing," Arroyo says. "Neither should anyone else."

Ummm, wow. Well, how long until we see some kind of disciplinary action against Arroyo? Or does his outspoken nature actual make him almost immune to being disciplined, since slapping him on the wrist would be seen as MLB trying to cover it's own steroid tracks?

It's a fascinating development -- and overall world view -- of drug and supplement use of post-PED testing baseball. Whether it jives with what's actually going on in locker rooms is another story, but we tend to take Bronson's word on it rather than Bud Selig's. After all, does this sound like a guy that would keep anything from the general public?

By Cameron Smith  |  August 14, 2009; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  Reds  | Tags: Bronson Arroyo, Reds, performance enhancing drugs, steroids, supplements  
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Comments

the guy has never failed a drug test and never said he's taken any illegal supplements since the testing was enacted. so, technically, baseball can't do anything.

i'm sure bud will try though.

and he will be peeing in a cup quite frequently from here on i'm sure

Posted by: adampschroeder | August 15, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

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