Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

Anti-PED activist waiting for A-Rod to explain himself

NEW YORK — The way the founder of an anti-steroids organization sees it, Alex Rodriguez owes him an explanation.

He's still waiting.

"It's not 'mad at him.' It's not anything to be mad about. It's 'disappointed,' " Don Hooton said at Yankee Stadium on Sunday. "I really hoped I would've heard from Alex before (his suspension) came out" last week.

Hooton has crusaded against PEDs since his son Taylor committed suicide at 17, which Hooton has said was caused by depression following withdrawal from steroids. Taylor, a high school baseball player, was also suffering from low self-esteem and was taking an anti-depressant, Lexapro, that has been linked to an increased risk of suicide.

Don Hooton enlisted Rodriguez in 2009, when the slugger admitted to using banned PEDs with the Rangers from 2001-03, to help the Taylor Hooton Foundation.

Rodriguez did most of his work for the foundation out of the spotlight, meeting thousands of kids in about 36 appearances for the group, and Hooton said he was an exemplary volunteer.

But Hooton feels Rodriguez's recent 211-game suspension as a result of Major League Baseball's investigation into Biogenesis, the now-closed Miami-area anti-aging clinic, has overshadowed everything else.

"He's lived up to every part of his obligation to us, except this one," Hooton said. "And it's more important that all the others."

Also, the New York Daily News reported that Rodriguez sought advice on legal nutritional supplements from the founder of the company at the center of the largest federal criminal investigation into sports doping. Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative founder Victor Conte told the newspaper that Rodriguez did not ask him for illegal drugs, and they mostly talked about legal products when they met in May 2012.

BRAVES: OF Justin Upton left the game against the Marlins in the fifth inning because of cramping in his left hamstring. He was replaced by his older brother, former Rays CF B.J. Upton.

CARDINALS: All-Star C Yadier Molina, who has been on the disabled list since July 31 with discomfort in his right knee, is on track to be activated when eligible Thursday.

D'BACKS: OF Cody Ross was carted off the field in the first inning against the Mets with what was later diagnosed as a dislocated right hip. … 3B Matt Davidson, one of the team's top hitting prospects, was called up from Triple-A Reno. 3B Eric Chavez went on the 15-day disabled list with a left knee strain.

METS: RHP Jeremy Hefner was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas but could be headed to the 15-day disabled list instead, with a sore pitching elbow that he said has worsened recently.

PIRATES: LHP Wandy Rodriguez, on the disabled list since June 5 with left elbow and forearm tightness, is scheduled to throw a second bullpen session Wednesday and could be cleared to throw live batting practice soon after.

ROYALS: All-Star C Salvador Perez was activated from the seven-day concussion disabled list, and 3B Miguel Tejada went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right calf. … INF Jamey Carroll was acquired from the Twins for a player to be named or cash.

YANKEES: RHP Dellin Betances, a one-time top prospect who last pitched in the majors in 2011, was recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to join the bullpen. 3B David Adams was optioned to the same club.

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