• A-Rod’s Buddy, Former Coach: H.S. PED Use Never Happened

    Posted by on May 1st, 2009 · Comments (16)

    Via the Miami Herald -

    But [A-Rod's high school coach Rich] Hofman knows him better than most, has known him since he was a 15-year-old at Westminster Christian School. He coached Rodriguez and three other future major leaguers to the national No. 1 ranking in 1992. He predicted that Rodriguez would be the No. 1 draft pick and greatest player of his day.

    Steroids in high school? Hofman scoffs.

    ”It’s totally unsubstantiated, totally false, all innuendo, a vendetta,” said Hofman, 64, retired after winning 10 state titles at Westminster Christian and at Westminster Academy in Broward. “We had a close-knit group and in all our conversations, steroids never came up. These kids loved to play baseball. We had a rigorous program and that’s why we were good — we earned it.”

    In the book, a former teammate said Rodriguez used steroids (his connection was a dog kennel owner) and Hofman knew it. Another student said Hofman’s son David, who played football with Rodriguez, saw Rodriguez use steroids.

    ”Totally bogus,” Hofman said.

    The only things Hofman saw his players ingest were protein shakes. Those, plus weight training and a growth spurt would explain how Rodriguez gained 25 pounds between 10th and 11th grade, and improved his bench press from 100 pounds to 310.

    Hofman said Rodriguez wasn’t the deceitful type.

    ”Other than the usual tomfoolery, they hung out at Doug Mientkiewicz’s house,” Hofman said.

    How does one reconcile Hofman’s belief in Rodriguez with the A-Rod who admitted he took steroids in 2001-2003, but also made the ridiculous claim that he didn’t know what he was taking at the time except that “they weren’t Tic-Tacs”?

    He said he stopped after he left the Rangers, but Yankees teammates disagree and nicknamed him for his ample pecs, a condition called gynecomastia often caused by steroids. Watch the YouTube clip of a shirtless A-Rod on the Letterman show. An unnamed player said A-Rod and Kevin Brown were seen with human growth hormone in 2004.

    ‘Alex called me and said, `Coach, I can swear on a stack of Bibles that there’s nothing to this,’ ” Hofman said.

    And, via mlb.com -

    Recent accounts from excerpts in an upcoming book that Alex Rodriguez may have turned to steroids in high school were refuted Thursday by Dodgers utilityman Doug Mientkiewicz, who was a teammate of Rodriguez’s at Westminster Christian High in Miami.

    “There’s no way,” Mientkiewicz told Yahoo! Sports. “I was with him too much, I was with him for too long. Our team was together, like, 20 hours of the day. Every day.”

    The Warriors won the Florida state championship and were USA Today’s top-ranked team during Rodriguez’s junior year.

    But Mientkiewicz, who graduated in 1992 and was a year older than Rodriguez, said the Yankees slugger naturally got bigger.

    “He also grew two or three inches,” Mientkiewicz said. “You’re talking about a 15-year-old kid who looked really skinny and scrawny. Then he hit puberty and he grew into a man. Everybody goes through it. So now every 13-to-15-year-old kid is going to be accused of this, because he hits puberty?”

    It’s funny. Those who want to discredit what’s in the Roberts book often say it’s a case of “he said, she said” and therefore you cannot take what’s in the book as truth. However, could not the “he said, she said” discount logic also apply to what’s being said by people like Hoffman and Mientkiewicz?

    Comments on A-Rod’s Buddy, Former Coach: H.S. PED Use Never Happened

    1. handtius
      May 1st, 2009 | 1:07 am

      I’d rather take the word of someone who knew a-rod, then a friend of a friend or an anonymous source. Of course you have to take everything with a grain of salt, but I’d put Dougie’s word a tad bit more seriously then Mr. Anonymous.

    2. May 1st, 2009 | 1:18 am

      Me? I don’t care if there’s a name on it, or not, but, I find it hard to sign-off on a 15-year old going from a bench press of 100 pounds to 310 pounds thanks to just “puberty” and “protein shakes.”

      I mean…really…com’on.

      ANYONE who has benched pressed weights will tell you that you don’t go to 310 from 100 just because you turned 15 and downed some Weider protein powder…

    3. Evan3457
      May 1st, 2009 | 1:40 am

      On the one hand, you got the Selena Roberts book which has unnamed sources who think that A-Rod did something bad, or who heard from someone that he did something bad, vs. actual real people with real names who knew him well in the period in question coming forward and saying he didn’t do it.

      On the other hand, A-Rod’s credibility at this point is, ahem, shaky to say the least.

      And then on the 3rd hand, there’s this: unless someone comes forward with ironclad proof (and I mean they better have a witness who’ll put his name on the record and give A-Rod the chance to confront the accuser(s), plus videotape evidence from the tape of the game in question) that he tipped pitches to opposing players, and/or got tipped on pitches from opposing players….

      I still don’t care about any of this.

    4. deadrody
      May 1st, 2009 | 10:02 am

      He said, she said ? No, not quite. Unnamed anonymous source with minimal connection to Alex said, vs. longtime friend, MLB player and HS coach said.

      Guess which one deserves more credibility ?

      Oh and the change in weight and bench press didn’t happen because he had a birthday. It happened because he got a year older.

    5. lisaswan
      May 1st, 2009 | 10:20 am

      Steve, the fact that Roberts is using A-Rod’s words (he’s the one who told that bench-pressing story) as one of her main sources for this allegation is telling. I wrote about it this morning:

      http://subwaysquawkers.blogspot.com/2009/05/does-selena-roberts-accuse-rod-of.html

      Look, is it possible Alex did steroids in high school? Of course it is. But given that Roberts herself has indicated she thinks A-Rod’s a liar, why is she using his interview comment as gospel?

      Roberts had the nerve to call her evidence “irrefutable.” No, it’s not.

    6. MJ
      May 1st, 2009 | 10:40 am

      But given that Roberts herself has indicated she thinks A-Rod’s a liar, why is she using his interview comment as gospel?

      Roberts had the nerve to call her evidence “irrefutable.” No, it’s not.
      ——-
      Exactly. It’s no different than the Mitchell Report’s near-exclusive reliance on the statements of Kirk Radomski on the one hand, and then Mitchell’s refutation of claims made in Radomski’s book on the other. If you believed him enough to use his statements in your report, you probably shouldn’t go around trashing the claims he makes in his tell-all.

    7. JeremyM
      May 1st, 2009 | 6:39 pm

      I went from probably a sixty-pound bench press (no joke) to about 185 over 6 months of weight training class during a similar time period. And I weighed no more than 150 pounds. And the fact that A-Rod claims that’s what he did doesn’t make it so.

      I think it’s more telling that Roberts has no names attached to anything I’ve read so far. Yeah, she got her hands on leaked government information so she was right on that account, but that is it (and the fact that she has no interest in leaking the other 103 names is telling about her ridiculous biases).

      I can’t defend A-Rod as a person as it’s clear that he’s basically a scumbag in his personal life, but this Roberts is a scumbag too. And anything A-Rod did pales in comparison to the way she treated those Duke lacrosse players who were all but convicted and strung up to hang in her reporting.

    8. handtius
      May 1st, 2009 | 7:26 pm

      ANYONE who has benched pressed weights will tell you that you don’t go to 310 from 100 just because you turned 15 and downed some Weider protein powder…

      ______

      When I was in 13, I joined my high school ski team. At that point, I could leg press like 100-150. By the time is was 15-16, I was pushing 500 to 600. When you work hard. you get results…Plus, purity does make a difference. I personally grew, probably a good 4 inches in that time period and gained 60 bl.

    9. May 2nd, 2009 | 12:29 am

      Big difference between a leg press and a bench press, no?

      Thighs and calves are a lot stronger, naturally, than pectorals and triceps.

    10. thenewguy
      May 2nd, 2009 | 3:02 am

      Big difference between a leg press and a bench press, no?

      Thighs and calves are a lot stronger, naturally, than pectorals and triceps.
      ————-

      Yeah, you can say that, Steve. But then are you going to ignore the comment right above it by JeremyM when he says he added 125 pounds to his bench press over only 6 months?

      Honestly, who would you rather trust: unnamed sources and friends of friends, or Doug Mienieiantkataknns (who, from all accounts, is a classy player) and his HS coach (who I could understand you trust less)? To me, the answer is obvious. Unless Roberts can give names, dates, locations, I’ll believe that A-Rod didn’t do steroids in High School.

      And the fact that one of the hardest working athletes gained a lot on his bench press when he was a teenager cannot sway my opinion. I don’t think we could even conceive of how hard A-Rod (and others) work to be in top physical shape. If he started out at 100 pounds (a very low number) and decided to work as hard as he could, I have no doubt that he could add considerable weight to his bench press in a short time. Remember, its much easier adding considerable weight when you first start lifting than after spending a lot of time lifting.

    11. May 2nd, 2009 | 7:50 am

      Here’s something else – were steroids even used by major league baseball players in that time (which would have been 1989-1990 or so)? And is it plausible a high school student would have used it then?

      The first time I even remember hearing about a baseball player and steroids was Lenny Dykstra, and that is after this time frame. I’m not even sure

      Also, Roberts claimed A-Rod got steroids from a dog kennel owner. But I’m not aware of anabolic steroids having any connection with dogs.

      Look, A-Rod is forever tainted because he used steroids in the first place. But I just don’t know how plausible Roberts’ story is, especially given that she has been proven already to twist the truth to suit her aims.

    12. May 2nd, 2009 | 8:37 am

      thenewguy – adding 125 is not the same as adding 210.

      lisa – you have to remember, Canseco has using back in 1988/1989. And, he was somewhat tight with Alex, IIRC, when A-Rod was in H.S. – so, it’s possible that Alex got an earful on PEDs back then.

      As far as the dog kennel owner? Well, I’ve heard stories of breeders giving steriods to pit-pulls and the like…

    13. May 2nd, 2009 | 9:44 am

      Steve, thanks for the explanation. I’m still not buying Roberts’ so-called “irrefutable” story, though. Is it possible A-Rod used steroids in high school? Absolutely. But second-hand sources and conjecture doesn’t exactly make this a rock-solid case.

      Roberts seems to have about as much integrity as A-Rod, given how she out-and-out lied when she claimed she didn’t talk about A-Rod’s “bedroom life” in the book.

    14. Raf
      May 2nd, 2009 | 9:46 am

      Here’s something else – were steroids even used by major league baseball players in that time (which would have been 1989-1990 or so)? And is it plausible a high school student would have used it then?
      —————-
      Yes and yes. Despite the recent brouhaha, steroids have been around for a lot longer than most people care to remember; I was warned of the “evils of steroids” when I played HS ball back in 91-92

    15. Raf
      May 2nd, 2009 | 9:47 am

      Tom House mentioned that steroids have been around when he was playing in the 70′s

    16. thenewguy
      May 2nd, 2009 | 12:09 pm

      thenewguy – adding 125 is not the same as adding 210.
      ——–

      That’s true. But I’m willing to bet that JeremyM is not even half of the athelte A-Rod is (no offense.) And I am willing to bet A-Rod had a professional trainer help him and he worked out nearly every day. I’m sure A-Rod is a ridiculous physical specimen- even if he had never worked out. So is it unreasonable to think that a professional athlete could increase his bench press considerably than a reader of this blog?

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