Jake Arrieta takes the mound tonight at Wrigley Field with hopes of throwing a second consecutive no-hitter. Not everyone cheers his quest.
“I’ve heard players, and I’m talking about some of the best players in the league,’ question whether I’ve taken steroids or not,” Arrieta told Bob Nightengale of USA Today. “Some of the things I hear are pretty funny, and some people are idiots, frankly.”
Arrieta says he gets tested about ten times a year. He passes.
“I eat plants,” he insists. “I eat lean meat. I work out. And I do things the right way.”
Arrieta held the Cincinnati Reds hitless at Great American Ball Park in his last outing. This follows a no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. Since last season’s All-Star break, the veteran righty has allowed just 12 runs in 129 1/3 innings pitched.
The 2015 NL Cy Young Award-winner looked like nobody’s Nolan Ryan to start his career. His earned-run averages in Baltimore looked like 40 times, and ones run by overfed linemen in most cases: 4.66, 5.05, 6.20, 7.23. His 2015 ERA? o.87. Leaving Baltimore can have that effect on a man on a mound. But so can chemicals.
Arrieta says that’s just not the case with him. But with similar rags-to-riches baseball tales (see Chris Colabello) ending as sad suspensions story, the player haters hate on the player.
“If there are guys still on it, I hope they get caught,” Arrieta told Nightengale. “I care about the integrity of the game. I wouldn’t want to disappoint my family, my friends, my fans. That’s a huge motivating factor in doing it the right way.”