The New York Times seems to be suffering a few pangs of guilt for it's role in publishing names on "the list" that were supposed to remain anonymous, and has been running an interesting series of op-eds on the ongoing steroid saga and what it actually means to baseball.
First, there is Tyler Kepner...
Perhaps it means that if an asterisk sticks to one group of champions, it could also apply to all. And if every great team of an era has an asterisk, what is the point of the asterisk, anyway?
Then, there is Charles McGrath...
...“cheating,” like it or not, has always been a part of baseball — before there were syringes there were amphetamines, or “greenies,” and bats that were corked — and that for the Boston faithful it makes little sense to dwell in the past or don sackcloth and pack up the World Series banners. We fans deserve them, even if the players don’t. And whom should we send them to, anyway? The Yankees? Don’t think so.
Good points all, and ones I made far before I knew Ortiz tested positive for steroids. If nothing else, these revelations have made one acutely aware of the beam that is in thine own eye. Yes, Roger Clemens is an ungrateful, arrogant, miserable, lying fuck; and yes, ARod is practically made of celluloid. They are worthy of scorn on their assholiness alone. But the basic difference in their doping crimes and oriz and Manny's is only a matter of degree. Clemens' long history of drug use is well chronicled by the Daily News crew; and given his recent suspension for PEDs, it's safe to assume Manny just found a way to beat the system for six years. It's less clear, however, whether or not ARod or Ortiz was using past 2003, and without a Brian McNamee or Jeff Novitsky in the wings to spill the beans, we may never really know. But in the end, does it matter? With a confirmed asterisk on every roster of nearly every team over the past two decades, does it really matter?
Baseball has become essentially a WWE event, and I suppose needs to be assessed in that context. So, the new line for Sox fans? Even with their perennial golden boy ARod and probably more than half their roster doping, the PED-fueled Yanks still couldn't beat the PED-fueled Sox. At least the doped Red Sox performed when called upon to do so. The Yankees suck even while doping.
From a player's perspective, we get Doug Glanville...
The tests were contingent on some semblance of confidentiality. No player in the game would have ever agreed to a collectively bargained drug policy if they had been told beforehand that the results would end up in the public domain. Sure, if the government found a way to bypass that, then we would have had to comply, but instead we got this chronic leaking of confidential and anonymous information after five years, with only selective players being “outed.” Kind of shady. Well, if this is for such a good cause, then why the negative approach? Why pick and chose who gets the center square stockade? How about we start leaking the names of the other 1000 players that didn’t test positive? That would be nice change of pace, but whoever is leaking this information isn’t playing nice, at all.
He's got a point, but from the public's perspective, this is really a red herring in my opinion. Stuff leaks all the time-just ask any occupant of the White House. (The Nixon administration even had a name for guys it employed to stop leaks-"plumbers".) The fact that the union didn't properly cover it's ass in this case is not really a fan's issue, especially when one considers the MLBPA viciously fought steroid testing for more than a decade. Now, I agree that Manny and Papi and ARod and the Player's Association should be pissed off, and as a union supporter in general, I agree that there are ramifications here that could reach beyond baseball. But that's a separate issue. As a fan, I don't care about who leaked or why. It doesn't matter. What difference does an agenda make to the facts of the case? I think people are focusing on that to deflect from the fact that this is really, really painful and they are looking for someone else besides their favorite player to be angry at. Right now they are angry that they know the information, not the information itself.
I am down from the ledge. I love my team and am just as entitled to the '04/'07 championships as any Yankee fan is to their steroid-soaked '96/'98-'00 ones. I hope Mark Teixiera is correct when he says that this post-90s generation of ballplayers is coming up clean, but he has a bit of a watermelon head himself so I am skeptical. I think it will take more than the change of millenium to totally clean baseball up.