To hear Alex Rodriguez tell the tale, a player had almost no choice but to use drugs when playing for the Texas Rangers at the start of the decade. There was a “loosey-goosey” clubhouse culture and the oppressive heat in the summer wearing the players down.
Maybe he was right. In addition to A-Rod, Rafael Palmeiro, Pudge Rodriguez, John Rocker and Juan Gonzalez are among the Rangers who have been tied to PED use.
But Mark Teixeira, who made his debut in 2003, denied being involved when asked about his time in Texas.
“When I was a rookie, I had a one-track mind and that was to learn the big leagues. I didn’t really see anything else going on and nobody really talked about any kind of steroids. It was definitely kept quiet. I had no idea that anybody was taking anything,” he said.
Teixeira is the son of a former Navy pilot and a schoolteacher. John and Margie Teixeira ran a tight ship, he said.
“I grew up in a family (where) there was zero tolerance. There were no drugs; there was no alcohol. That kind of stuff just didn’t fly,” Teixeira said.
Teixeira went on to say that he considers PEDs a drug like any other and advocated cleaning up the game. He is a member of the MLBPA executive board and believes the group is doing all it can to eradicate PED use. He said that while he was disappointed in A-Rod, it’s not his place to judge him.
I’m not sure I believe the MLBPA is doing all it can. But Teixeira seems like an earnest guy. If you listened to the audio of his interview, he certainly knows how to handle himself in an interview setting.