Jose Bautista slugs one of the 43 homers he hit in 2011. (AP)Toronto Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is aware that some suspect him of using performance-enhancing drugs. In fact, "Jose Bautista steroids" is the third suggestion if you Google his name. The suspicion seems to be based on him hitting 59 home runs in his first 2,038 career plate appearances through age 28, then walloping a league-leading 97 homers over the past two seasons.
But the whispers don't drive Joey Bats the least bit batty, and it doesn't seem bother him one ounce (milliliter?) of urine sample that Major League Baseball tests him over and over again for drugs. He'll pee in Bud Selig's cup whenever he's asked, Bautista recently told TSN Radio in his adopted home country of Canada. Bautista says he has been tested about 16 times over the past two seasons:
"I don't mind it; it's something that is not going to affect my focus and I'm not going to allow it to affect how I play my game," Bautista said. "They are entitled to do whatever they want and test you as many times as they want. If I get picked to be tested a million times, that's fine with me."
A million times! Only after many pots of coffee and/or six packs of beers. All jokes aside, that's what Bautista says — to bring on the lab coats — and to paraphrase a commenter on Baseball Think Factory, one usually urinates at least once a day anyhow, so big whoop. But methinks it bothers him that some assume his prowess to be illegitimate, and that he uses it as motivation.
Bautista says he doesn't do performance enhancers. I believe him. He has never tested positive that we know of. So I believe him even more confidently. More importantly, though: Whatever gets him to be one of the best sluggers in the game should be considered a good thing. And if whispers about PEDs continue to stick in his craw, and he turns that disrespect into more home runs for the Blue Jays, good for them. There aren't many players who make you stop what you're doing when they come to bat. Bautista is one. As fans, we should be happy to do so.
And if he has to stop what he's doing to pee in a cup a million times, like Bautista says, so be it.
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