Edgar Martinez challenges report of Mariners' drug use
Seattle legend says he is unaware of clubhouse steroid abuse that Shane Monahan described.
Seattle Times staff reporter
PEORIA, Ariz. — Longtime Mariners designated hitter Edgar Martinez joined the chorus of current and former players in saying he knew nothing of steroids in the team's clubhouse when he played.
Martinez made a brief appearance at spring training Friday, having arrived the previous day to do some promotional work for FSN. He flies back to Seattle today, but he did chat with some Mariners hitters in an unofficial capacity before leaving Peoria Stadium.
During a brief session with reporters, he was asked about the December allegations by onetime Mariners outfielder Shane Monahan that amphetamines and steroids were rampant in the team's clubhouse a decade ago. Monahan played in Seattle in 1998 and 1999. Martinez, who was with the club from 1987 through 2004, says he was surprised to hear the accusations.
"I don't know why he said that," Martinez said. "I was there for a long time, and I didn't see what he saw. I don't know why he made those comments."
Monahan said in an interview with ESPN.com that he used anabolic steroids in 1998 and 1999 and got them from "guys" who hung around the clubhouse unimpeded.
Despite several attempts by The Times to follow up with Monahan, he refused to talk. In the initial story, he said just about every Seattle player other than former catcher Dan Wilson used amphetamines while he was there.
Former Mariners pitcher Jamie Moyer and current left fielder Raul Ibanez both disputed Monahan's claims at the time.
"What are you going to do?" Martinez said. "There has been a lot of this going on around baseball. At times, you expect rumors and things like that. It's been happening quite a bit. So you just take the information. But like I said, I was there for a long time and never saw any of that."
Martinez was asked about seven-time Cy Young winner Roger Clemens, who is being investigated by federal officials looking into whether he perjured himself before Congress by denying he used steroids or human growth hormone.
"It's unfortunate what's going on with him and in baseball," Martinez said. "I think that they're doing a lot of work to fix the problem. But about Clemens, I can't say anything about it. I knew Clemens a little bit from the days when we played All-Star Games. But other than that, we didn't have any relationship, so I can't say anything about it."
As Clemens will eventually, Martinez becomes eligible for the Hall of Fame later this year. His candidacy is expected to be controversial, but in a different way from Clemens, given that he collected the bulk of his .312 lifetime batting average and 2,247 hits as a full-time designated hitter.
"It's a great honor to even be considered for the Hall of Fame," Martinez said. "I think when people mention and talk about it, it's when I give it a little more thought. But it's not something I think about a lot. As time gets closer, I'll probably give it a little more thought."
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or email@example.com.
Read his daily blog at www.seattletimes.com/Mariners
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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