A-Rod situation bothersome to Ibanez
Phillies left fielder feels for ex-teammate, but irked by news
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Most of the Phillies had cleared the Bright House Field clubhouse by the time Alex Rodriguez held his news conference Tuesday afternoon in Tampa, Fla.
Some caught glimpses of it.
A few sat and watched.
Phillies left fielder Raul Ibanez caught moments here and there. He played with Rodriguez with the Mariners from 1996-2000.
"He didn't need it," Ibanez said. "He's the most talented player I've seen. Him and [Ken Griffey] Jr. are the two most talented players I've ever seen. And [they are] just naturally gifted. And I would have never ever thought this of Alex, because I worked out with him one winter [in 1999]. And this guy works his tail off. He works hard. He's like a machine. I was floored when I heard it, because I would have never suspected it."
Rodriguez did the wrong thing, Ibanez said.
"He's acknowledged that fact that he did the wrong thing," Ibanez added. "It's a bad day. I think it's a bad day, but at the same time, I know the human element, because I know Alex personally. We were teammates in Seattle. Normally, as a player you see something happen with a guy that you don't really know and you think that guy did something wrong. Because I know him, I feel for him. I know he's hurting, and he's acknowledging it."
But while Ibanez feels for his former teammate, he also doesn't like the shadow this latest revelation has cast over the game.
"It bothers me, because I got to grow up with Mike Schmidt, George Brett, Don Mattingly," he said. "I grew up with that era of players. I watched them play. ... We've kind of brought it on ourselves."
Ibanez said he doesn't care if the other 103 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 are named.
Brad Lidge said he does.
"I wish they would just come out and say who the 104 players are, because it's not fair for the other players," Lidge told The Associated Press. "We're all lumped in with them and people think most players did it during the steroid era. But all of us didn't cheat. I don't care how they do it. They should name all of the players on the list."
Ibanez does have an opinion on Rodriguez and the Hall of Fame, however.
"If he hits 750 homers and you completely eliminate those three years, you still have Hall of Fame numbers," Ibanez said.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.