Braves' Julio Franco Responds To Steriod Charge By Andy Van Slyke

Franco Says That He Is "On" Jesus Of Nazareth

Thursday, March 4, 2004 - by Tim Evearitt
At 45 Julio Franco is the oldest player in the Major Leagues. <i>Click to enlarge photo.</i>
At 45 Julio Franco is the oldest player in the Major Leagues. Click to enlarge photo.
- photo by Tim Evearitt (file photo)

After former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke said that 45-year-old Brave Julio Franco must be on steroids, Franco said the only thing he's on is the power of devout faith.

"Julio Franco is 46 years old [sic] -- I've got to believe he's on it," Van Slyke told host Rick Barry on KNBR, the San Francisco Giants' flagship radio station, on Wednesday.

Told of those comments Thursday, Franco smiled and said, "Tell Andy Van Slyke he's right -- I'm on the best juice there is. I'm juiced up every day, and the name of my juice is Jesus.

"I'm on His power, His wisdom, His understanding. Andy Van Slyke is right. But the thing he didn't mention was what kind of steroids I'm on. Next time you talk to him, tell him the steroid I'm on is Jesus of Nazareth."

Franco's age in the Braves' media guide is 45, three years older than was listed in 2003. The first baseman is the oldest player in the major leagues.

Van Slyke made the comments about Franco Wednesday, a day after saying on another radio program that Giants slugger Barry Bonds "unequivocally" used steroids to help add muscle mass in recent years.

Van Slyke, a Pittsburgh Pirates teammate of Bonds from 1987-92, told Sporting News Radio, "People do not gain 35 pounds of muscle in their late 30s without a little bit of help."

_______
Adapted from Atlanta Journal-Constitution's website.


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