Feb 122009

So as we all know, one name from a supposedly secret list of 104 baseball players who tested positive for steroids back in 2003 got out into the public. Naturally that name was Alex Rodriguez. Even more naturally people reacted with outsized histrionics (Big ups to Rochelle Riley by the way, going way outside the box on that one).

However, I find myself more and more coming around to Joe Posnanski’s point of view. The fact is, as Joe points out, baseball’s history is full of cheats, and using chemistry to improve performance is absolutely nothing new. Odds are a great many Hall of Fame players would fail a modern drug test — amphetamines have been popular in the clubhouse for a half century or more. More explicitly Gaylord Perry is in the Hall thanks to the spitball — and to my way of thinking doctoring the ball is an infinitely worse offense. I differ in opinion slight with what Posnanski had to say on his blog about the Gammon’s interview. But that certainly doesn’t diminish the central point that the media is going insane on the moralizing…again.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fan of players injecting themselves with steroids, growth hormones, or extract of sheep testicles, but this whole thing has been completely blown out of proportion. We knew McGwire was taking andro even before he hit home run number 62. People were talking about Canceso juicing the year he went 40/40. So I just don’t the outrage ever since Game of Shadows came out.

In a weird way though, what this really does is just make me even more glad the Manny/ARod trade fell apart in early 2004. What was already one of the greatest non-trades in the history of sport — because I’m not sure the Red Sox win the World Series with Rodriguez — becomes a legendary non-trade because of all the drama this is going to bring down on the Yankees this year, and that’s on top of all the run of the mill drama Alex Rodriguez brings to the table.

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