--Jamie Moyer, Philly.com, February 15, 2009
Asked if his sons, now teenagers, were disappointed in Rodriguez, Moyer said: "I'm sure they are. We've talked a little about it. It's also a lesson. One day he's a Hall of Famer, and in a 24-hour period he's not because of a poor decision. That's a shame."
Rodriguez, 33, became the youngest player to reach 500 homers when he did so with the New York Yankees in 2007. He is on course to one day break Barry Bonds' career record of 762. Bonds has long been suspected of using steroids.
In addition to 553 career homers, Rodriguez has won three MVP awards.
Are those numbers tainted?
"Of course they are," Moyer said. "This changes everything - the way people look at him, the way people act toward him. It's a shame. What does he have to play for now?"
Moyer played in Seattle from 1996 through 2006. Rodriguez was a teammate from 1996 to 2000. Rodriguez said he did not use steroids before going to Texas in 2001.
"Who's going to believe him?" Moyer said. "What credibility does he have now?"
Moyer has difficulty fathoming why Rodriguez, long hailed as the game's most talented player, would start taking steroids in the first place.
"The guy has a ton of talent," Moyer said. "Why does he need that? Money? The expectations that came from the contract?
"He always exuded great talent. Why did he think he needed to make himself somebody bigger and better? Just be yourself. That's what I tell kids when I talk to them. Be yourself."
Moyer, baseball's eldest statesman at 46, has long been a passionate opponent of steroid use. In 22 seasons, the soft-tossing lefthander has won 246 games. The only juice he'd test positive for would be Welch's grape.
"Baseball should be proud of the people who haven't done steroids," Moyer said. "The ones who haven't know inside that they've done it right. I'm not extra proud of anything, but I know I'm clean. I feel like I've done it through hard work."
Moyer remarked that the start of spring training always seems to raise the issue of steroids. He's tired of it.
"It's almost embarrassing to say that you play because of things that have happened and how they've been handled," he said. "It's such a distraction. I really wish there was some way to make it all go away. I wish Major League Baseball and the [players'] union could figure out some plan to deal with all this. Whatever list [of positive 2003 tests] there is, throw the names out there or throw the list away. Start with a clean slate. It's something the industry needs. How they do it doesn't matter."
In 2004, baseball began punishing players who tested positive for steroids. A first positive test now carries a 50-game suspension. Moyer suggested toughening that.