Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 20, 2004
BASEBALL: The Gathering Storm

A friend recently sent me an email about an event where a prominent baseball writer spoke freely about, among other things, the view that a certain well-known player is on steroids and another recently stopped taking them and has slimmed down dramatically . . . I won't reprint the charges, since (1) they're third-hand at best, (2) they weren't really intended for public distribution, and (3) it's not my place to smear the names of prominent players without any personal knowledge of the facts.

But face it: the fact that a well-known insider would make casual remarks about this stuff to strangers . . . what that says to me, really, is that the insiders know that the truth is coming out soon, and respecting a code of silence about it all doesn't really serve much purpose anymore. (David Pinto has noted one prominent crack in the wall). I really, really don't want to learn that one of my favorite players has been using steroids; chances are, you don't either. It's going to be unpleasant and distasteful all around. But as I noted in May of 2002, the truth is coming sooner or later. To me, it smells like sooner.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:39 AM | Baseball 2004 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (2)

Iím much less interested in getting the names of who has used steroids in the past when some of these drugs were allowed (I think we all have our suspicions) than I am in making sure no one is doing it anymore. Baseball should try and work with the Players Union to protect the names in question (although it may be out of their hands and a prosecutorial matter), while forging a more rigorous testing regime. Itís in everyoneís interest to see the sport steroid-free. Itís just a question of how to get there.

There are better ways to pump up offense in the game (which I think is unnecessary anyway) than pumping the players full of unhealthy and often illegal drugs.

Posted by: The Mad Hibernian at February 20, 2004 9:16 AM

I think you have to publicize the names of the users, especially if those users will be considered for the Hall of Fame or are in a position to break major records like, oh, I don't know, maybe the all time home run record.

Posted by: WD at February 20, 2004 10:39 AM

The truth, about baseball as well as any other sport where fame and fortune is at stake and drugs can yield a competitive advantage, is that athletes who can improve their standing and increase their ability to provide for their families always will, unless you put in place the enforcement procedures to prevent it. I'm not especially concerned with damaging the reputations of players - I suspect so many of them are doing it that that is almost pointless. What baseball needs to do is acknowledge that they've allowed this to become epidemic in the game, and that they want to get it out. They won't, of course - steroids are an ever changing field always one step ahead of regulation. But if you make it hard enough, you can get it to where only a relative few are doing it, and that's what needs to be done.

Posted by: Jerry at February 20, 2004 1:46 PM
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