Swinging for the fences

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Joe Carter talks PEDs and steroid use in baseball

Joe Carter speaks at the K+S Potash Canada/Kinsmen Sports Celebrity Banquet Saturday. Times-Herald photo by Matthew Gourlie

After 16 seasons as an outfielder, Joe Carter is able to wake up each morning with a clear conscience. He isn’t sure if some players playing in Major League Baseball today can do the same.

Carter hit 396 career home runs and six more in the post-season, including his famous walk-off home run to win the 1993 World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays. He prides himself on playing the game the right way and not having to use steroids or performance enhancing drugs (PEDs).

“Our numbers look a lot better now,” Carter stated. “We did things the right way and I can sleep at night knowing I played the game the right way. I can look back on my career with my head held high. Those years of 30 home runs and 396 career home runs were legitimate numbers as compared to these guys that are on PEDs.”

Carter was in Moose Jaw for the 21st annual K+S Canada/Kinsmen Celebrity Sports Dinner at the Heritage Inn. He spoke at length with the Times-Herald on Saturday about the use of PEDs in the sport and what the league must do in order to combat the negative light the reports have shed.

Prior to his retirement in 1998, Carter stated that steroids weren’t overly talked about in the game. The only discussion surrounded one team – the Oakland Athletics.

“There was talk, but it was around one team, the A’s with Mark McGuire and Jose Canseco...the Bash Brothers,” he stated. “Other than that, there was no one that talked about it. It wasn’t an issue, but now with everything coming out, it is.”

Canseco has written a book, Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant ‘Roids, Smash Hits & How Baseball Got Big. In it, he admitted to taking steroids and claims that the majority of MLB players use PEDs.

The baseball world began to take an ugly turn since then. The reports and court hearings that have come out since then, in what Carter described as the “Steroid Era,” focused on certain elite athletes, including Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and as recently as last week, New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez.

Milwaukee Brewers star Ryan Braun was the 2011 MVP and after that season, the league found he had high levels of testosterone. He was given a 50-game suspension, but it was overturned. His name was again brought up after it was discovered by a Miami based clinic had his name on file. Braun denies any connection with the clinic.

“It puts a black eye (on the game), but do the players who have done this care? No. And the reason why is because they got paid for their production,” Carter stated. “The only punishment, it seems like, is that they won’t make the Hall of Fame and they aren’t going to make it, but I don’t think that is their ultimate goal. Their ultimate goal is to make money. They have made their money and they can do whatever they want.”

For more on this story, read an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.

Organizations: Major League Baseball, Times-Herald, Toronto Blue Jays K+S Kinsmen Celebrity Sports Dinner Heritage Inn Oakland Athletics Bash Brothers New York Yankees Milwaukee Brewers

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Canada

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