David Dellucci gave a very interesting interview in Ohio yesterday, reported by Ohio.com. In the piece, Dellucci is quoted as saying he battled alleged steroid users for his position. He also referred to his numbers as underwhelming when compared to juicer's stats when contract negotiating time comes up.
''I know I've battled guys at my own position who may have been on it,'' said the Indians' left-fielder during the team's press tour stop at Shaw Jewish Community Center on Tuesday. ''You do what you can (to compete). I had to negotiate a contract one year when guys had better numbers than me, because they were doing it (taking steroids). I know that for a fact. I had 29 home runs (for the Texas Rangers in 2005), but I didn't get enough credit because some players cheated. I had to negotiate a contract with that.''
Interesting. Dellucci was the left fielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 1998l he put up 5 home runs, 51 RBI, and batted .260. The next year, Dellucci sat on the bench while Luis Gonzalez hit 26 HRs, with 111 RBI, and .336. Gonzalez started ahead of Dellucci until 2004 when Dellucci left for Texas. In 2001 Gonzalez exploded for 57 dingers, 142 RBIs, and a .325 average, unbelievable numbers considering his career marks.
Dellucci's comments had to be a very thinly veiled accusation of Gonzalez juicing. That blow out year remains suspect. Furthermore, Gonzalez declined to 17-24-15-15 homers since 2004 (testing).
So who is Dellucci referring to on the Texas team? Gary Matthews Jr, whose name came up in the Florida Internet scandals? And who signed for 2.4 million in 2006.
Dellucci also comments on records, and effectiveness of testing:
That said, Dellucci thinks the situation is improving. Harsher punishments and more frequent and unannounced drug tests seem to have severely diminished the list of players willing to ignore the rules and continue using steroids.
But how does he know? By the numbers. For the past couple of seasons, home runs are down. Moreover, it's obvious that there are fewer players with bulked up bodies walking to the plate.
''I can tell by the miles per hour,'' Dellucci said, referring to the fastballs he sees. ''There are things you notice. And how many big-league players have failed their drug tests the last couple of years? I think it's only five. That shows that things are getting better...
Dellucci doesn't think it's fair that baseball has taken the brunt of the criticism, when performance enhancing substances have been prevalent for decades in track and field, cycling and football, among other sports. But for some reason, there is little outcry when an offensive lineman in the NFL gets flagged for using steroids.
''I think I know why,'' Dellucci said. ''My personal opinion is that it's because the most prestigious record in baseball was broken by someone that there are questions about.''
And lastly, he comments about the steroids era:
Dellucci has compartmentalized steroid users into two categories: before 2003 and after. He considers what happened prior to 2003 ancient history, because there was no agreement between the owners and the players union to test for steroids.
And HGH testing:
The next issue probably will center around a push (threat?) by Congress to force the league to test for HGH. For now, only a blood test will reveal whether an individual has been taking HGH, and the players union has resisted agreeing to blood tests on invasion of privacy grounds.