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News » Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-12

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-12

Philadelphia Phillies Inside Pitch 2009-05-12
There never has been a shred of suspicion that Ryan Howard has used performance-enhancing drugs. But, given the current climate, he would understand if there was.

"I think it is unfair," the Phillies' slugging first baseman told ESPN's Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic on Monday. "At the same time, you can kind of understand it because of what continues to happen."

Howard was referring, of course, to Manny Ramirez receiving a 50-game suspension last week for failing a drug test. Ramirez reportedly took a female fertility drug designed to boost testosterone levels. In February, Alex Rodriguez admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs, and recently, a book was released detailing his drug use.

Over the last three seasons, no player has hit more home runs than Howard, who has been the game's most prolific slugger with 153 homers and 431 RBI since 2006. Whenever he's asked about steroids, Howard leans on his track record of passing previous drug tests. Ramirez, however, said he passed about 15 drug tests before testing positive.

"I was just shocked," Howard said of the Ramirez news. "I was surprised at what happened. Now, to me, it's kind of unfortunate that it's happened. He's come out and accepted it, and it's just time to move on.

"What Major League Baseball is doing with the testing is great because it seems to be working. Hopefully we'll get to the point where nobody has to worry about it again and it'll be completely out of the game."

Howard also commented on the Phillies' inconsistent start. The Phillies are 15-14 after losing four of their last five games. That stretch followed a five-game winning streak.

"I think we're starting to get into a rhythm," Howard said.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: May 12, 2009

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