Friday, July 31, 2009

Baseball and Steroids

Okay now it's getting personal.

Yesterday came the report that beloved Red Sox hero David "Big Papi" Ortiz has been implicated in the neverending story that is the steroid scandal. I, for one, was not too surprised. When the full list of 103 names comes out I think many of the big name players of the era will be on it.

But here is what bugs me: the talking heads are beginning to pronounce that because Big Papi (and his team mate at the time Manny Ramierez) have tested positive that this somehow taints the Red Sox world series titles of 2004. This simply ridiculous and I will dismiss the arguement with a few simple points (although it is weak on many counts).

Simple points: There have been as many, if not more, pitchers implicated in the scandal as there have been hitters. So... if the both the pitchers and hitters are juiced then they cancel each other out. Right? No advantage to either side. End of story. If one still wants to "taint" the Sox achievement then I guess you also have to throw out the Yankess titles in the late 90's (Andy Petitte and Roger Clemons have failed tests). Also it is now generally accepted that the "Steroid Era" in baseball runs from 1992-2006. To be consistent I guess every title in that period must also be suspect. Yes? I mean surely one does not believe the only guys who were using were the ones who got caught...

And while I am at it I should weigh in on the Hall of Fame issue. Should players who have tested poistive be inducted into the Hall? Answer: A solid yes. Here is my reasoning. Anybody who knows or cares about baseball knows about the so-called steroid era. If you want to make a mental note of steroids guys and give them less respect, then go ahead. But the Hall is (or should be) all about career achievement. If you have the numbers you should be in. Period. And if you take a case like Barry Bonds it's adds another wrinkle. He definitely has HOF type numbers that he put up before the steroid era. What about that? Does one positive drug test cancel out everything? And then there is the fact that performance enhancers have always been around in sports anyway. There were guys taking speed in 60's and 70's. The spitball is cheating. Too much pine tar on your bat is cheating. There are guys in the HOF who have been guilty of these crimes. Arguably the greatest player in baseball history, Ty Cobb, filed his spikes to a point to scare guys and thus get an advantage when sliding into a base. Kick him out of the Hall?

Enough said.

1 comment:

theswearingchef said...

Doping is by no means over in 2006. It most certainly continues on a large scale today in baseball. In order to get caught you either have to be stupid (sorry Manny) or very unlucky. Baseball only requires a pee test, much easier to defeat than blood. Also, it's only administered with "reasonable suspicion" not random throughout the year as it should be. Overall extremely lame, as are all drug policies in US professional sports. Players come into the league, and the coercive forces at play are very strong. Hail to those who resist, but then don't perform well enough to earn the big money or stay in the leagues. Players unions are a big part of the problem, to the detriment of their players. Forget about records, look at the quality (or existence) of player's lives after sport. A real travesty.