Last week, Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, while speaking at a banquet in the Dominican Republic, told the assembled crowd that he has been tested for performance enhancing drugs on sixteen different occasions during the last two years compared to only three times in the two years before that.
Of course, Bautista, seemingly out of nowhere, has led Major League Baseball in home runs the last two seasons. However, the Blue Jays right fielder doesn’t want it to seem as though he’s complaining about the increased number of tests. On a sports radio station in Toronto yesterday, Bautista clarified his previous comments.
I’m not complaining whatsoever. It’s a question that I was asked so I gave an honest answer. It’s not in my interest to make it seem like I’m getting picked on. I don’t mind it; it’s something that is not going to affect my focus and I’m not going to allow it to affect how I play my game. They are entitled to do whatever they want and test you as many times as they want. If I get picked to be tested a million times, that’s fine with me.
Hardball Talk compares the comments to something that Frank Thomas would have said. And while I have my doubts that Bautista would openly assist a widespread investigation into performance enhancing drug use in baseball, as The Big Hurt did with The Mitchell Report, it certainly isn’t going to harm Bautista’s reputation to seem like a willing subject for drug tests.
Unfortunately, even this stance isn’t likely to limit the lazy speculation of bored sports writers who enjoy coming to conclusions without anything resembling evidence.