The 2003 list of 104 MLB players who took performance-enhancing drugs is starting to resemble the Brett Favre saga of the past two offseasons.
It’s in the news every week and people are starting to lose interest.
Unfortunately, much like with Favre’s retirement decisions, the media refuses to ignore the story. Seriously, were you surprised yesterday when you heard David Ortiz was on the list? There are really only a handful of players—such Derek Jeter or Ken Griffey, Jr.—who would actually shock me at this point. The steroids era has instilled a guilty until proven innocent mindset amongst fans, plain and simple.
But there is a way baseball can (sort of) finally move on: release the entire list of 104 players. Enough of this “one big star a month” deal. I want to see all of the names and I want to see them now.
Sure, the list was supposed to be confidential (though I have to question why then it wasn’t destroyed), but names are leaking left and right. Do two wrongs make a right? Do 104? No, but at this point it is the only way for MLB to get past the issue.
If the names are not released, then what has happened already this season will continue to happen for at least another full season or two—the names will be released, one at a time, from most to least prominent player. You see my point? Either way the names are most likely going to get out. MLB might as well expedite the process.
On a side note, although on the surface there’s really no difference between Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Andy Pettitte, and anyone else who took performance-enhancing drugs, you’ve really got to despise guys like Ortiz. He sat on his high horse and criticized those players who did use PEDs.
“Test everybody, in season and out of season. And if you still use and you get caught, then you should be suspended for the whole year,” Ortiz said, according to reports.
Howard Bryant of ESPN recently wrote that Ortiz told him earlier this season this elaborate story about how he would never take steroids because his son would be ridiculed in school for having a dirty, cheating dad. It’s almost disturbing, in light of these reports, to read the lies these players would create.
What’s also disturbing is that no players have admitted anything prior to their name coming out in a report. But not everyone preached about how steroids were ruining the game and how they’d never even considered taking them, like Ortiz and Rafael Palmeiro did.
It doesn’t make the other players any less guilty, but it certainly makes guys like Ortiz look like complete shams.