The Cardinal Nation blog

Brian Walton's news and commentary on the St. Louis Cardinals (TM) and their minor league system

Glaus: Guilty once, so guilty twice?


On Saturday, The New York Times published an article called “Inside a Tempting World of Easy Steroids”. Its author, Michael S. Schmidt (not to be confused with Hall of Fame third baseman Michael Jack Schmidt) outlines alleged details behind the acquisition and use of steroids by several major leaguers during the years 2000-2004.

The highlighted group of players includes then-Angels and now-Cardinals third baseman Troy Glaus.

The article’s details come via previously undisclosed evidence from a federal investigation of a since-indicted anti-aging doctor from California named Ramon Scruggs.

Glaus was reportedly using steroids prescribed by Scruggs sight unseen during 2003 and 2004 to help recover from a shoulder injury. This was especially surprising as the events apparently occurred after MLB had instituted their initial testing program.

Pressure was Glaus’ reason to take the step, stating he was “willing to take the risk” because he needed to play, according the Times. The article went on to document the frequency and duration of Glaus injecting himself with the steroids nandrolone and testosterone.

The NYT report notes that in 2005, Glaus told investigators that he stopped using steroids at the end of August 2004, but the piece ends abruptly with a description of the third baseman’s current shoulder woes. The treatment left me wondering what point they were trying to make.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch picked up the story from there, quoting the previous connection of injury and steroid use by Glaus as being “concerning” to Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak.

“Anytime something like this resurfaces in the context of him currently going through rehab, it’s concerning. We’re still hopeful it’s something he can work through and at the end it’s unrelated,” Mozeliak told the paper.

Mozeliak plans to meet with his third baseman as the Cardinals arrive in Arizona for a three-game series Monday through Wednesday. Glaus is rehabbing his shoulder in the Phoenix area.


Walton’s take
: Here’s how I see it. Yes, five and six years ago, Glaus apparently used steroids at a time he knew it was against MLB rules.

Since then, he was caught, interrogated by Federal agents, named in the original Signature Pharmacy investigation and fingered in the Mitchell Report. Glaus has declined comment about the matter publicly.

Specifically, via a Sports Illustrated report in 2007, Glaus was connected to Scruggs and Signature Pharmacy, a Florida-based internet business that sent out numerous shipments of performance-enhancing drugs to professional athletes.

So, exactly what is new?

As far as I can tell, almost nothing except the NYT report appears to confirm Glaus’ use via his own leaked statements, where before all that seemed proven was that he received shipments of steroids. I guess that is mildly newsworthy, but to me, disclosing when he supposedly shot up feels more like ambulance chasing than anything. It all just lines up with what was already assumed by most everyone except perhaps the most naive, anyway.

The currency of his shoulder woes and rehab in Arizona away from the team is topical, but again, already documented. The implication that Glaus might be tempted to consider using steroids again to help speed his rehab here in 2009 seems completely inappropriate and unfair.

Given all he has been through since using previously plus stricter MLB testing policies and penalties than were in place back in 2003 and 2004, if Glaus needs a stern talking-to by the GM or prodding from newspaper articles to ensure he remains clean, he is far beyond help, anyway.

Much more likely, Glaus deserves the benefit of the doubt that he has learned his lesson and will not screw up again, but that isn’t newsworthy, is it?

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