ATLANTA — A federal appeals court says investigators were wrong to seize the list of all baseball players who allegedly failed drug tests in 2003.
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones figures it’s too late to do anything about it now.
The names of several high-profile players — including Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz — already have been leaked as being among the 104 who reportedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs that season, even though the results were supposed to remain confidential.
"It doesn’t matter now. The names are already out there in the general public," Jones said. "We’ve already got a number out there. It’s not going to be over until it’s all out there."
Jones commented Wednesday shortly after the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that investigators overstepped their authority when they seized all the positive tests, even through they only had a warrant for 10 results as part of the BALCO investigation into Barry Bonds and others.
"It’s been a little bit shady from the get-go," Jones said before the Braves faced the San Diego Padres. "A lot of people’s credibility and a lot of people’s dignity have been damaged in this. I’m sure the players aren’t happy about it. I know I’m not. But if you’re going leak the biggest names on the list, just so Major League Baseball can move on, get the rest of them out there so we can deal with it and get it behind us."
Jones said he would have preferred that no players had been named after the initial round of testing, which was part of an agreement to gradually implement a drug-testing policy in baseball. But he believes more names will be made public, even with the court ruling.
"It’s not going to stop. Somebody out there wants this to follow Major League Baseball for a very, very long time," Jones said. "It’s not fair to the clean players. It’s not fair to the players who’ve been leaked. Get ‘em all out there so we can start the healing process."
Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche said he believes everyone is fed up with all the talk about who was using performance-enhancing drugs six years ago.
"Nobody cares now," he said. "I don’t care if the guy next to me was on steroids. He doesn’t care if I was on them. Nobody cares. We’re all burned out on it now. Let’s move on."
DIAZ AT THE TOP: Braves right fielder Matt Diaz found himself in an unusual spot Wednesday: leading off.
Manager Bobby Cox decided to put one of his hottest hitters at the top of the lineup, even though Diaz hasn’t batted in that spot regularly since he was in Double-A.
Over his previous 17 games, Diaz was batting .426 (23 of 54) with four homers, 11 RBIs and 12 runs. He had eight multi-hit games during that span.
Also, center fielder Ryan Church was back in the Atlanta lineup after missing three games with back spasms.
THE OTHER DUGOUT: The Padres gave outfielder Kyle Banks another night off to get over an ailing foot.
Manager Bud Black said Banks feels no pain when running in a straight line, but it hurts to make a cut or move in a circle.
San Diego did have a deeper bench. Outfielder Drew Macias, recalled from Triple-a Portland the previous day, arrived in time for the game.