Young says steroids weren't discussed

Shortstop Michael Young, who was close friends with Alex Rodriguez on the Texas Rangers, told ESPN.com that they never discussed steroids.

"It was never a point of conversation or a point of interest,'' said Young, who played second base in 2003 and has been with the Rangers since 2000.

Young also said he has no doubt Rodriguez is mentally strong enough to perform on the field amid the likelihood that the current controversy will persist.

"Alex has an uncanny knack to block things out and go to work, and I don't think this is going to be any different,'' Young said. "There's always something that makes Alex a point of interest away from the field, and he always seems to pass with flying colors.''

A total of 16 former Rangers was mentioned in the 2007 Mitchell report on steroids. The list includes first baseman Rafael Palmeiro, who tested positive for steroids in August 2005. But Young said he saw no evidence of rampant steroid use on the team in 2003.

"It's definitely a fair question, but no,'' Young said. "I never had any kind of conversations with players about steroids in the middle of a locker room or otherwise. At no point did I ever feel that the culture in that clubhouse had anything to do with steroids.''

General manager Jon Daniels, who was assistant of baseball operations with the Rangers in 2003, told The Dallas Morning News that the notion of Rodriguez using steroids during that season "was not a topic of conversation."

"This SI report is the first I've heard of it [Alex Rodriguez's test]," Daniels told the paper. "When the testing took place in 2003, it was confidential and nothing was ever communicated to clubs. It's hard for me to make any comment on a report that I've never seen."

Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com.