NEW YORK (WFAN) — Former New York Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch says baseball’s Steroids Era really wasn’t as bad as the narrative might suggest.
Players weren’t throwing around performance-enhancing drugs willy-nilly in the clubhouse. In fact, Knoblauch says he never saw anybody doing anything, despite being an HGH user himself at the tail end of his career.
“It wasn’t like it’s being characterized,” Knoblauch told WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts on Wednesday. “If somebody was doing something, it was definitely behind the scenes. I can only talk about my own experience and I didn’t see that. If people were doing it, it was hidden, it was on their own agenda or whatever.
“But it’s kind of a shame that it’s labeled that way because there was a lot of good baseball played.”
Knoblauch was named in baseball’s Mitchell Report in 2007. The Mitchell Report said Knoblauch, a client of Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee, started using HGH in 2001.
Both Radomski and McNamee were linked to several other players, including Roger Clemens, who was acquitted on perjury and obstruction charges in 2012 after denying to Congress that he had ever knowingly taken PEDs.
“My personal experience, I didn’t ever see it,” Knoblauch said. “I didn’t know anything about any other guys. I’ve been through it, I testified in front of a grand jury for the Roger Clemens trial, and I didn’t know anything about anybody, which was a great thing for me.”
Knoblauch reiterated that PEDs “didn’t help me at all.” He hit a then-career-low .250 in 2001 with the Yankees, and followed that up with what turned out to be an actual career-low .210 with the Kansas City Royals.
He retired after the 2002 season.
“I don’t think any performance-enhancing drug or steroid or anything like that can actually help you hit the baseball,” he said. “You’ve still gotta hit it.”
Knoblauch also discussed his infamous throwing issues and the topic du jour — Alex Rodriguez.
“I feel bad for the guy that this is happening to him,” Knoblauch said of Rodriguez, who is challenging a full-season ban related to MLB’s investigation into Biogenesis. “Sometimes you bring stuff on yourself and you need to deal with it however you deal with it, and he’s chosen to fight it.
“You know, like I said, I don’t know all the facts. He hasn’t failed a drug test. He’s either the luckiest person in the world or he’s beating the test somehow.”
Knoblauch won the AL Rookie of the Year award in 1991 and was a four-time All-Star with the Minnesota Twins. He won a World Series title with the Twins (1991) and three with the Yankees (1998-2000).
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