Sunday, October 01, 2006

Steroids. Again.

So I get up in the wee hours, as always on a Sunday, to have a few minutes to myself before getting the kids up to get ready to go to church, and ESPN is leading with more steroid accusations. Clemens is certainly the biggest non-Bonds name to come out so far, but my reaction to this morning's news is, again, not shock or surprise. As I wrote last year:
The ability to "enhance performance" was available to any player who wanted to take advantage of it. Once the players have done that, their performance is their performance....The drugs were everywhere. We know that baseball players have used substances, both legal and illegal, as long as there have been baseball players, because baseball players are all human beings, with the same fallibilites and frailties as all human beings.

Let's look at the simple economics of the situation. Major League baseball had in place, for the late '70s, the '80s, the '90s and the early 2000s, policies that a) rewarded -abundantly - players who succeeded in the Major Leagues and b) provided no testing for detecting, or penalties for using, substances that were nominally illegal, but could be expected to improve performance. It's just unrealistic to think that it was only a few "bad apples" that tried them. Speaking from personal experience, there were division III college football players using in New England in hte early '80s. Are we to assume that division III football in New England was more susceptible to the lure of improved athletic performance than division I baseball in Texas?

Clemens may or may not have used. I've said this before, I'll say it again - I don't care. I don't care about what Bonds did, or McGwire, or Palmeiro. The fact that a highly-driven, highly-paid professional athlete did whatever necessary to make himself the best physical specimen that he could? I'm supposed to believe that 90% of these guys have never taken anything stronger than a Bayer's children's aspirin? To quote Wodehouse quoting Gilbert, "I am young, says one of Gilbert's characters, the Grand Duke, I think, but, he adds, I am not so young as that."



Technorati tags: Steroids, Clemens, Pettitte, Grimsley, Tejada, baseball

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