Dierker's take on steroids controversy

February 17, 2008 5:01:58 PM PST
Larry Dierker says he saw a lot more sculpted bodies in the locker room when he was managing the Astros than he did as a pitcher in the 1960s and '70s.The recent congressional hearings involving Roger Clemens and former trainer Brian McNamee has generated much reflection and debate about steroids in sports.

In an interview with Eyewitness Sports anchor Tim Melton on Saturday's "Extra Points" show, Dierker said he did not know of any player using steroids while he was managing the Astros from 1997 to 2001. But he did share his observations during that time:

"It was really a big mess. We had doctors come down to the clubhouse and talk to guys about the possible effects of steroids later in life. So, that told me that everybody knew that something was going on.

"But, it was almost as if the players were standing strong against testing and the owners weren't going to fight very much for it because of McGwire-Sosa (home run chase in 1998), the home run era, attendance going up, up, up and everybody looking the other way."

"And then, you get four, five, six years later, and they're pointing back to years where when baseball didn't even have a policy and then wanting to pass judgment on guys for something that happened when, I think, (steroid use) was pretty widespread and a lot of people were doing it," Dierker said.

The author of "This Ain't Brain Surgery" also champions the cause to increase literacy among adults, and is heading up a golf fund-raiser to benefit Literacy Advance of Houston on Feb. 25 at Redstone Golf Club.

"Texas is 47th out of 50 in adult literacy," said Dierker, who would like to help change that for the better.

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