You might think a grown man should be responsible for what he puts in his own body. If so, you might not be Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez.
Martinez, in a roundtable discussion on TBS Leadoff, had this to say about where the blame lies for Fernando Tatis Jr.’s positive steroid test and subsequent suspension:
“Now, since he got hurt, San Diego’s been on top of him. And this is where I have to give him a pass, because San Diego should have known what this kid is putting on his body, whether it was ringworm, or whether it was the flu, or whether it was whatever he put in his body. He’s too valuable to the organization. … The Padres need to know exactly what he puts on [his body]24/7.”
Former MVP Jimmy Rollins, who isn’t a Hall-of-Famer like Pedro, but does seem to be a bigger fan of personal responsibility, pushed back on that idea.
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“But this is the decision that he made at home or wherever he was. … What we do know is that there’s a protocol in place. A friend gave it to you, grandma, dad, it doesn’t matter. Take it in, check it out. … Before I put anything in my body or on my body, I’m going to make sure it came from them or I’m going to take it to them.”
As Rollins points out, there are resources available to every member of the player’s union to make sure all medications they take conform to the league’s performance-enhancing drug rules.
So even if we take at face value Tatis’s claims that he tested positive because of a ringworm medication — and there are certainly some good reasons to take that story with a grain or two of salt — the fault still lies clearly and entirely at the feet of Tatis.
In fact, Tatis himself accepted that blame in his public statement. Pedro is arguing a point here that even Tatis isn’t claiming.
The fault is clearly Tatis’s. The only question is whether he’s to blame for carelessly taking a ringworm medication or for deliberately using steroids. Everything else is just noise in the crowd.