Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sosa steroid news barely raises eyebrows

After a few days digesting the Sammy Sosa link to PEDs, I'm still a little foggy on where I stand on the steroid issue.

Not that I'm saying it's right. But I think there's shades of grey starting to appear on the issue.

This is what happens when the biggest home run hitters of our generation (Sosa, Arod, Giambi, etc.) are being exposed for testing positive. And we know there's at least 100 more names that haven't been disclosed from the now-infamous 2003 test.

Am I ashamed, as a Cubs - and Sosa - fan that Sammy was caught? To be honest, not really. I'm trying to articulate in my own mind why that is and here's the best I can come up with:

Steroids were legal in baseball. End of story.

Sure, they are horrible for your body. They set an awful precedent to our youth. They've distorted the home run record book forever.

But, folks, they were not illegal.

I wonder if I'm making excuses for Sammy and then I remember thinking the same thing when Mark McGwire was vilified by Congress, and more importantly, public opinion for not answering the steroid question (and later dodging it again by an ESPN reporter).

It would be so much cleaner and tidier, had Sammy not played the language barrier card that day, asking for a translator.

He should've owned up and said, hey, I did it. We all did it. Look at the pictures of me 10 years ago and then today and it's not rocket science (and we all had our suspicions). Nobody gets that big, that fast. Not Barry. Not Mark. Not me.

And then he could've said something like "baseball's been bery, bery good to me."

We all would've chuckled and went about our day.

Think about it. Jason Giambi apologized for his usage (albeit indirectly). Andy Pettitte has admitted to it. Brian Roberts came clean.

What do all these guys have in common? They're forgiven. At least in my mind they are. Maybe yours, too.

We've moved on.

The talking heads this week all say that the 2003 list will eventually come out so let's just tear the Band-Aid off. I'm actually in favor of this. Every time a name is leaked, it sets baseball back a couple years.

"It's a shame baseball keeps going back to the past," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said this week, then admitted about releasing the list. "It might be the best thing."

Those names on the list will have some answering to do, certainly.

But 2009 is a different time than 2006. We're numb to the steroid news now. Once the ARod came out, all other news will just be a footnote.

The Hall of Fame will have to deal with this era at some point. And my guess is eventually McGwire and Sosa and Bonds will all be inducted. Perhaps with an asterisk.

After all. How can the Hall hold against players something that was within the rules of the game?

They can't.


Ed said...

Steroids could not be within the rules of the game because they were and are a controlled substance. It is illegal to use them outside of a medical use.

We don't need steroid era apologists. These guys don't deserve to be and will not be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

MichaelProcton said...

Honestly, who cares? Segregation is illegal, but blacks didn't play in baseball before the 40s and featured several prominent racist superstars, Hall of Famer Ty Cobb among them. The Red Sox used to play in a park that was 635 feet to center field. Why do people feel a need to compare players against anybody other than the competition against whom they played? If Sosa, McGwire, or Bonds were using steroids, there were surely pitchers who did the same, and I'll wager steroids make a far bigger difference in performance for a pitcher than a hitter. Three to four extra MPH on a fastball is more important than an extra 20 feet on a fly ball.

Also, the way these "released names" from this anonymous list are being treated is ridiculous. The players agreed to testing because they were promised it would be ANONYMOUS, and, frankly, they should be suing MLB and the leaks within its office up its ass for libel and breach of contract.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am confused as to when exactly the rules of baseball superceded federal law.

If the best argument that someone can make about steroids is that no rule existed, then one could also claim that baseball players can legally drive drunk or murder someone.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and perjuring yourself before Congress, no matter how trivial a subject, is also illegal.

MichaelProcton said...

Anon 3:43, they can commit crimes as easily as anyone else, assuming they don't get caught. If all of this rampant illegal activity was going on, when were the arrests?