Will the Feds Get Involved in the Steriod Scandal?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," Dec. 6, 2004, that was rebroadcast on December 24. It has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Impact" segment tonight, it looks like the federal government might get involved in a steroid scandal. Senator John McCain (search) says either major league baseball cleans it up or the feds will.

Joining us now from Los Angeles is Tommy Lasorda, the senior vice president of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

First of all, before we get into specifics, do you believe that taking steroids is cheating?


O'REILLY: And throughout your long career, have you seen a big change in this area of major league baseball?

LASORDA: Without a doubt. I've seen players, their complete body changed, bigger, stronger, more powerful than ever.

O'REILLY: Now when you were playing for the Dodgers in Brooklyn, you had tremendous players, Duke Snyder, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campenella, Sandy Kofax, all of these people, Don Drysdale. Did they take any kind of supplements, any kind of drugs at all?

LASORDA: No. Nobody would even take a chance on taking anything that would harm them and in any way. And we didn't even know what steroids were in those days.

But the main thing is that it's enhancement drugs. And they have to be very, very concerned with them. I'm — what I'm concerned about is number one, the union should make up their mind after hearing the president and Senator McCain talking about it. They're going to have to make up their mind to have a stricter drug rule. They — for a long, long time, you were not able to check them. You're not able to test them. Simply because they told them that was an invasion of their privacy.

O'REILLY: Yes, but that's a little hypocritical on the part of the ball clubs because number one, steroid use is illegal. And number two, as you know, everybody knew that certain players were taking these steroids because they blew up into monsters.

And you know, I saw — I criticized Bud Selig last week because Selig comes out and he's all outraged. Now Selig knows this has been going on for years. And now he's a tough guy.

And to me, I understand what you're saying about the player's union. That's ridiculous, but I think that major league ball clubs should have came out in the very beginning and said, look, zero tolerance for breaking the law. Zero tolerance for cheating. Should they not?

LASORDA: Well, it's not documented in the agreement between the players and the owners.

O'REILLY: But what about the law, though, Mr. Lasorda? It's against the law to do this stuff.

LASORDA: Well, then it's against the law, then he should be punished for doing it.

O'REILLY: Yes. I mean, come on, you can't just blame it on the union.

LASORDA: Bill, let me tell you what I'm worried about. And I am really just — I'm so sad to hear about that. I remember Lyle Alzado (search) getting on television and saying, don't take steroids. He died from them two weeks later.

What I'm worried about, number one, is the health of these guys taking those steroids and putting themselves in harm's way.

Number two, I'm worried about the young players, the youngsters playing baseball in little league and Babe Ruth league.


LASORDA: They're looking at these major leaguers. They try to emulate them. Major league players have more of an impact on the youth of our country than anybody. And they should be role models.

O'REILLY: Absolutely, that's the big thing. It's cheating and it's - - you know, these kids now may try it themselves. Now...

LASORDA: You know what somebody says to me, Bill, well, they have to hit the ball. Sure they have to hit the ball, but those balls that were being caught in front of the fence and then the warning track are now home runs. That's the difference.

O'REILLY: Hey, Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle hit the ball pretty well. You know? I don't think they were on steroids.

LASORDA: Yes. No way.

O'REILLY: But here's a big problem this year coming. Barry Bonds (search), huge problem, because he may break the home run record set by Hank Aaron (search). And Barry Bonds now admitted to taking the creams and the other stuff, but he said he didn't know what was in them.

We here give him the presumption of innocence. Most people don't. We do. But even so, his body has been enhanced by these illegal substances. What does major league baseball do with Barry Bonds?

LASORDA: Well, that's something that the commissioner has to come up with and decide what to do about...

O'REILLY: Well, he may call you for advice. What are you going to tell him?

LASORDA: Well, I'm going to tell him that they should be somewhere — pay the price. They should be penalized because they're playing with an advantage over the other players.

When I used to meet with my players for the first day of spring training, I'd say to them look, you want to get to the World Series? Here's how you go on.

And if there's anybody this team taking drugs, you guys better stop him because they are trying to deny you of reaching that goal. The players should police it themselves.

O'REILLY: Yes, they're not going to do that.

LASORDA: But the union tells them no.

O'REILLY: They're not — because they'd be rats and all of that. They're not going to do that.

But look, you got Bonds. OK? Now Bonds is the biggest star in baseball. He's now tainted. He's now tainted. Do you take him out of the game? Do you take — do you put an asterisk next to his records? What do you do?

LASORDA: Bill, I don't know. I just don't know what they're capable of doing, what the law will allow them to do. I have no idea. I just know one thing — that they are — they are cheating and they have an advantage over the people who aren't using.

O'REILLY: Yes, no question about it. Mark McGwire's body fell apart. Now he hasn't been convicted of anything, hasn't admitted to anything, but his body fell apart.

LASORDA: How about Giambi?

O'REILLY: Well, Giambi had cancer or a tumor or something last year. But McGwire, again, was a guy who you saw as a rookie. He was a skinny guy and he turns into a monster.

LASORDA: That's right.

O'REILLY: But I'm telling you, everybody in the game knew he was taking something. And he admitted to taking Creatin or some of these — I'll give you the last word on it.

LASORDA: Well, the last word is it's a bad mark for baseball. We don't need that. We — that should be cleaned up. And as John McCain, the senator said...


LASORDA: ...if the union and the club owners aren't going to do it, then let the government do it.

O'REILLY: The feds will do it. No, they will. They have to do it. It's too big a scandal.

Mr. Lasorda, Merry Christmas to you. Thank you very much for helping us out. We appreciate it.

LASORDA: Merry, merry, merry Christmas to you.

O'REILLY: All right.

LASORDA: They don't want us to say that.

O'REILLY: You bet.

LASORDA: I'm saying merry Christmas.

O'REILLY: Thank you, sir.

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