According to a Michael O'Keeffe report for New York Daily News, former Blue Jays slugger Carlos Delgado was in Long Island this past Sunday in a deposition hearing where he was questioned on his relationship with Toronto-based sports doctor Anthony Galea. Galea had a reputation among athletes for a seemingly magical ability to help players heal from injuries.
The investigation into Delgado's relationship with Galea and his possible use of performance-enhancing drugs during his career was brought up not by Major League Baseball, but by sports memorabilia dealer Spencer Lader. Back in 2009, Delgado sued Lader for $767,500 in what Delgado claimed to be money owing from a memorabilia contract. Lader wanted to know whether Delgado had used PEDs because any use could damage the value of the things Delgado had autographed. Lader also had complained that Delgado had signed Alex Rodriguez's bats by accident and used a black marker on a blue Mets cap, saying that the things they got back from Delgado were nearly worthless.
"I’m not saying Delgado used steroids, but I do have a right to know if he did," Lader told The News is January. "We thought his name had commercial value, but everybody knows players linked to steroids have no commercial value."
Earlier this year, he had already subpoenaed Jose Reyes to see if he knew anything about Delgado's relationship with Galea, and whether he had "acne on his back," claiming that any steroid use can be seen as misrepresentation on Delgado's part. The whole "I have a right to know" part is just ridiculous. I bought tickets to ballgames in the 1990s and early 2000s, that means I have a right to ask each MLB player know who had back acne and who didn't, no? I don't know why Delgado has to answer any of these questions.
Here's what I'd like to know: is Lader some sort of a scum dealer desperately trying to find ways to soil his former client's name and find ways to avoid paying the rest of the contract because he took a bet on Delgado's merchandise value and lost badly?
Of course, I'm sure SB Nation's lovely lawyers would like me to point you to the question mark at the end of the last sentence so that we won't get sued.
I generally hate commercial autograph hounds (again, not saying that Lader was one) who wait outside ballparks, hotels, and airports waiting for players and pushing kids aside just so they can make a buck or two. I guess I never understood why anyone would buy something that was obviously part of a mass-autograph production. That being said, I would just like to put it out there, to whomever is reading this, that I am perfectly willing to autograph whatever merchandise or body part you want me to for $700,000.