Rex Hudler: ‘They Turned Their Back On Steroids’
Anthony Bosch, a key figure in the Biogenesis scandal that resulted in more than a dozen major- and minor-league suspensions last year, surrendered to authorities Tuesday. He has agreed to plead guilty to distributing testosterone and faces up to 10 years in prison.
With Bosch back in the headlines, it’s only natural to reflect on the Steroid Era and how it sullied the game – and also how it affects Bud Selig’s legacy as he nears retirement.
“That’s the only blemish, really, that I can see on our great commissioner’s record,” former MLB player and current Kansas City Royals broadcaster Rex Hudler said on The MoJo Show. “I try not to dwell on that too much, really, because they’re going to take care of that – and they have. They’ve made some corrections in their business, and they’re testing players more stringently than anybody else in America. But I just like to talk about the great things (Selig) did. He had a tremendous run.”
Indeed, if you like parity, Selig’s your guy.
“The reason why people in Kansas City are so excited is they’re (contending),” Hudler said. “They’re in it in the AL Central. They’re in it in the Wild Card. (MLB added) another Wild Card. The All-Star game is the most meaningful exhibition in all the pro sports. There’s just too many positives that he’s done.”
“But it seemed like they turned their back (on steroids).”
But maybe not as much as we think. Hudler, 53, was a first-round draft pick in 1978. He debuted for the Yankees in 1984 and played for six big league teams before retiring in 1998.
“Being in clubhouses in the ’80s and ’90s, I can tell you that I don’t remember one time ever seeing anybody or even looking at somebody’s body and going, ‘He’s juicing,’” Hudler said. “It just wasn’t a thing that anybody talked about because back then there was no testing for anything. I took a handful of vitamins each day when I trained, and I’m sure some of those things are on the banned list, but they’re taking care of it now. That’s the main thing.”
But let’s get back to those Royals (58-53), who have won eight of 11 and are within striking distance of Detroit (62-48) in the AL Central. They’re also rapidly closing in on the Angels and Blue Jays for the Wild Card.
But are they legitimate?
“They’re legitimate because they got pitching,” Hudler said. “That’s the main ingredient in this game. You have to have pitching. Ninety percent of the game revolves around who you got. They got a real nice starting rotation. Their back end of the bullpen is phenomenal.”
“The only problem,” Hudler continued, “has been the offense. They’re averaging (around) four runs per game in the second half. They just got to find some guys to hit up to their basic numbers. All the offensive guys are below their numbers. They’re just not hitting like (the front office) projected them to do.”
“But if they can get just a small lead, (they can win).”