Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another steroid user? This would be a surprise.

After all the bad news MLB has had the past few years where it comes to steroid use and the tainted records all over the record books, the past few months have been a cherry on the cake. Even after the collective baseball world came to grips with the fact that bigger-than-life stars like Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, and Barry Bonds may have used performance enhancing drugs, there were still some stars that we always thought were pure naturals.

But lately they keep falling. First the revelation that A-Rod used steroids a few years ago. I actually tend to believe that he used them for a while, and then stopped. Call me naive perhaps. Now, today, it was announced that Manny Ramirez was suspended 50 games for violating the drug policy. He, however, denies that it was a steroid, saying it was prescribed. However, he is not appealing the suspension.

"Recently I saw a physician for a personal health issue. He gave me a medication, not a steroid, which he thought was OK to give me," Ramirez said. "Unfortunately, the medication was banned under our drug policy. Under the policy that mistake is now my responsibility. I have been advised not to say anything more for now.

"I do want to say one other thing; I've taken and passed about 15 drug tests over the past five seasons. I want to apologize to [Dodgers owner Frank] McCourt, Mrs. McCourt, [manager Joe] Torre, my teammates, the Dodger organization, and to the Dodger fans. LA is a special place to me and I know everybody is disappointed. So am I. I'm sorry about this whole situation."

If you had to name a handful of stars, especially given the testing environment now, that are most likely not juicing, despite their prodigious statistical records, many fans would have said, A-Rod, Manny, Albert Pujols, Ken Griffey Jr., etc. Manny in particular seems very unlikely to ever need anything in order to hit a ball 450 feet. I hope this was a mistake by the doctor, that Manny is getting blamed for.

One by one even these names are being sullied.

It's sad.

(And even me, as a die-hard Indians fan, can't just assume that many of our stars weren't doing the same thing, even though only Paul Byrd has been named. There's certainly no proof, but we had some big guys back in the day, like Albert Belle and Jim Thome, and I hope it was all the weight room, and not the needle.)