Ripken: 'I really want to know why'

Cal Ripken Jr., the Hall of Fame shortstop who played in an MLB-record 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles, wonders what Alex Rodriguez's motives were for using performance-enhancing drugs and plans to ask the New York Yankees third baseman himself.

"I really want to know why," Ripken said Thursday night at a banquet in Florida, according to The Palm Beach Post. "I'm going to make it my business to find out."

Ripken, who the report said has known Rodriguez for 16 years, said in a speech at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County's Men's Night Out that he thought the problem of steroids in baseball was improving, and "the willingness to suspend Manny Ramirez" is proof.

"The steroid era really puts a dark cloud over baseball," said Ripken, who was inducted into the Hall in 2007. "And that dark cloud is hanging and hanging."

Rodriguez returned to the Yankees last Friday after missing the first month of the season as he recovered from hip surgery. He admitted in February to using performance enhancers while with the Texas Rangers from 2001 to 2003.

Ramirez was suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball last Thursday for violating baseball's drug policy.