Colorado Rockies first baseman Todd Helton said Sunday he should not have to defend himself against an insinuation from one of the team’s former broadcasters — a statement that was later retracted — that he has used steroids.
St. Louis Cardinals radio broadcaster Wayne Hagin, who broadcast the Rockies’ games from their 1993 inception through 2002, told St. Louis’ ESPN Radio affiliate in an interview on Saturday that Helton was using “the juice” — common slang for steroids — until then-Rockies manager Don Baylor told him to stop.
But Baylor said in Sunday’s editions of The Denver Post that Hagin was referring to “the wrong drug.” It was creatine (or creatine monohydrate), a legal, over-the-counter nutritional supplement designed to help build muscle mass.
By Sunday, an ESPN national show read a statement from Hagin saying that his original statement was “erroneous.” Hagin acknowledged that the substance in question was not steroids.
“I’ve never used steroids and I don’t know why he’d come out and say that, especially when he doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Helton said. “I’ve been told he retracted it and said he didn’t know what he was talking about. And all he did was cause me grief.
“I’ve worked hard my whole life to get to where I am and it’s amazing one guy can say something, not knowing what he’s talking about, obviously making a mistake and now I have to defend myself. And that’s very unfortunate but that’s the way it works. But, like I said, I’ve never used steroids and I never need to.”
Clearly, Helton doesn’t have the benefit of Mark McGwire’s great legal advice and is willing to talk about the past.