Eleven days ago, Texas Rangers owner Tom Hicks went on KTVT-Channel 11 and said Juan Gonzalez used steroids during his tenure with the team. Actually this is precisely what he said: "Juan Gonzalez for $24 million after he came off steroids, probably, we just gave that money away." That comment, made to Babe Laufenberg, stirred little local reaction; it wasn't till June 17 that Jim Reeves at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram made mention of Hicks' allegations concerning Juando's abbreviated stint with the team during his failed 2002-'03 comeback, during which he played in only 152 of 324 games.
But, better late than never, that one sentence has turned into a full story courtesy the Associated Press, which yesterday asked Hicks to clarify his statement to Laufenberg. And this is what Hicks said via e-mail:
"I have no knowledge that Juan used steroids. His number of injuries and early retirement just makes me suspicious. In any event, we paid him $24 million for very few games."
Gonzalez's amazingly named agent, Al Nero, won't respond. Why? Because he damns Hicks' comments as "so irresponsible." Unlike, say, doing steroids. --Robert Wilonsky