Dodgers utilityman Doug Mientkiewicz said that he, Alex Rodriguez and their teammates on the Westminster Christian High spent as much time together as possible.
They were always together in school, Mientkiewicz said. They often ate dinner together. Many players, including Rodriguez, frequently slept over at Mientkiewicz’s house, which was only 10 minutes from the private school in suburban Miami.
Mientkiewicz said he never saw any signs that Rodriguez was on steroids, as is being alleged in an upcoming book by Sports Illustrated’s Selena Roberts, according to a report in the New York Daily News.
“From my perspective, it would be 99.9% impossible for us not to know,” said Mientkiewicz, who was a year ahead of Rodriguez in school.
Mientkiewicz lashed out at Roberts, who broke the story that Rodriguez flunked a drug test in 2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers. The report forced Rodriguez to admit in February that he took banned substances from 2001 to ’03.
Rodriguez put on 25 pounds of muscle between his sophomore and junior years in high school, according to the book.
“You’re basically accusing every kid that’s gone through puberty that they’re on steroids too, huh?” Mientkiewicz said. “He gained a couple of inches height-wise too, if I remember right. . . . I knew what he looked like in ninth grade. He was skinny. Who isn’t in ninth grade? He was very dedicated back then, he worked harder than anyone else.”
One of Roberts’ sources was a high school teammate of Rodriguez’s, according to the Daily News.
“If you’re going to have the [guts] to come out and say something like that, of that magnitude, whether it’s a high school teammate or some of the Yankee teammates that have said something, be a man and put your name on it,” Mientkiewicz said. “Don’t give me the anonymous source [stuff]. Be a man. Be a man and say who you are. That way there’s no questioning whether it’s real or not.”
The downtrodden Dodgers’ bullpen added a couple of arms in the hours leading up to the start of their longest homestand of the season, calling up Jeff Weaver from triple-A Albuquerque and activating Cory Wade from the 15-day disabled list.
The Dodgers, who now have 13 pitchers on their active roster, optioned left-hander Scott Elbert to double-A Chattanooga and sent infielder Blake DeWitt to Albuquerque.
Mientkiewicz was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Weaver, who was signed to a minor league contract this winter.
Weaver, 32, who pitched for the Dodgers in 2004 and 2005, was 1-0 with a 3.55 earned-run average in 12 2/3 innings over five games with Albuquerque. He had a solid spring and was in position to make the club in spring training but was hurt by his non-roster status.
He admitted to being “a little frustrated” when he was cut.
Torre recalled Weaver being upset.
“At the time, he asked a very legitimate question,” Torre said.
The question: “What more do I have to do?”
“I didn’t have an answer,” Torre said.
But, Torre added, “He didn’t rebel. He didn’t like it but he went” to the minors.
Wade, who pitched a couple of times in extended spring training and made a rehabilitation appearance with Class-A Inland Empire, said his shoulder problems are behind him.
“I felt I had all my pitches,” Wade said.