I never blamed him for the mess the Reds were. Not for a minute. He gave his all. Thanks for staying clean, Jr. I needed someone.
Even at 40, he is still Junior, a kid at heart, enjoying himself playing a kids’ game, and being the best baseball ambassador he can be, with his humor and his homers, which by all accounts have come exclusively through incredible genes and natural means. While some may view any declaration skeptically in the steroid era, there is zero evidence on Griffey. And while a few of baseball’s bigger home run names finally have been exposed as having failed baseball’s first steroid test of 2003, word is that Griffey passed that test — no surprise to anyone around baseball, or to him. In fact, Griffey backed up the contention he passed with an explanation of his lifetime of non-usage. Though physical appearance and career trajectory can’t be offered as airtight proof anymore, it’s also fair to say he’s experienced a normal regression in power numbers as he’s gotten older, and undergone normal body changes.
When asked about passing that seminal 2003 test during an all-encompassing interview, Griffey didn’t bat an eye. Nor did he accept congratulations. “There are a lot of people who passed that test. I don’t worry about those things,” he said. It’s true a vast majority passed, but megastars Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz have been revealed to be among the 100 or so who failed, and many of Griffey’s other slugging rivals have been caught in other ways.