High school teammate, Dodger defends A-Rod

LOS ANGELES – Allegations

Alex Rodriguez

used steroids in high school are inaccurate, according to one of Rodriguez's former teammates at Westminster Christian High in Miami.

“There's no way,” Dodgers utilityman

Doug Mientkiewicz

said. “I was with him too much, I was with him for too long. Our team was together, like, 20 hours of the day. Every day.”

Mientkiewicz graduated in 1992, a year ahead of Rodriguez. The Warriors won the Florida state championship and was USA Today's top-ranked team in Mientkiewicz's senior season.

On Thursday, the New York Daily News reported that Selena Roberts' soon-to-be-released book would claim Rodriguez used steroids as early as high school. Mientkiewicz said Rodriguez did indeed put on weight between his sophomore and junior seasons.

“He also grew two or three inches,” Mientkiewicz said. “You're talking about a 15-year-old kid who looked really skinny and scrawny. Then he hit puberty and he grew into a man. Everybody goes through it. So now every 13-to-15-year-old kid is going to be accused of this, because he hits puberty?”

Rodriguez admitted in February he was among those who tested positive for steroids in 2003 and that he'd used steroids from 2001-03, when he played for the Texas Rangers. Roberts' book reportedly will allege Rodriguez used performance-enhancing drugs long before he got to Texas and after he was traded to the New York Yankees.

“He made his bed and he had to go lay in it,” Mientkiewicz said of Rodriguez's admission.

Of the further accusations, however, he said, “I understand the book is coming out and all. Now we're going to go back to what he did in high school? You weren't there. He was with me in high school. In high school he was more dedicated than anybody I'd ever seen. Can we move forward please?”

Mientkiewicz said he'd ask the same of former Westminster Christian teammates.

“If you're going to say something about it, don't be a coward,” he said. “Put your name on it. Face the music.”

Dodgers manager Joe Torre declined to comment on a report that put Rodriguez, Kevin Brown and human growth hormone in the same place.

“Alex has had a lot of things dumped on him, aside from the injury,” he said.