Mets general manager Sandy Alderson Monday echoed Tony La Russa's acknowledgment during the Hall of Fame weekend that La Russa "had his suspicions" about players' steroid use in the 1990s, when Alderson was GM and La Russa was his manager with the Oakland A's.
La Russa, one of this year's inductees into the Hall, told the Daily News, "I knew our programs in Oakland were 100 percent clean. But we had our suspicions -- guys getting stronger but not working out. I went to Sandy and ownership about this. And they told me, flat off, 'Right of privacy. It's a collective bargaining issue.' "
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Before last night's Mets-Phillies game, Alderson said, "I spent a lot of time thinking about those kinds of circumstances over the years, eight or nine years ago. I have absolutely no recollection whatsoever of any such conversation."
But Alderson added, "If you go back and look at what I've said on the record, yes, I had my suspicions. Beyond that, I'm just here to respond to what Tony had to say and leave it at that."
One member of those A's teams, of course, was Mark McGwire, who in 1998 with St. Louis set the single-season home-run record and admitted after retirement that he had used steroids.
Rookie righthander Jacob deGrom Monday was named co-National League Player of the Week with Marlins reliever Steve Cishek.
DeGrom (5-5, 2.79 ERA) was 2-0 with an 0.68 ERA from July 21-27 and became the first rookie in Mets history to win four consecutive games in one season while pitching more than six innings and allowing no more than one run in each game.
Lucas Duda's four homers and seven RBIs on the just-completed road trip moved him closer, manager Terry Collins said, to remaining in the lineup even against the most difficult lefthanded pitchers.