104 Tested Positive for Steroids SIX Years Ago

7 Feb

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

It came out this morning that a certain Major League All-Star and home run champion was one of 104 players who failed a steroid test in 2003. Remember, those tests were done with the intent of initiating drug testing. The union said that if 5% of players failed the test, they would be willing to allow testing. 104 players failed the test. Those names were supposed to remain anonymous. Maybe it was naïve to think that was realistic, but I know I didn’t want to know. And now, I know the name of one of those players because he is one of the game’s greatest players of all times. I honestly just hate this whole topic. It doesn’t surprise me at all, and it really doesn’t bother me. But it does bother me that our media, and the majority of fans, choose to pick on the mega-stars, the greats of the game. Are they worse ‘cheaters’ than the lesser known players that did the exact same thing? Are they worse than the people who knew that it was going on and didn’t say anything?

 

How is it possible that just the one name out of 104 got leaked?

 

Remember two years ago when the writers from the Daily Southtown chose not to vote for Cal Ripken, Jr., and Tony Gwynn for the Hall of Fame? He was bashed, but I personally agreed with (or at least understood the logic) his position. He said that with the Steroid Era being what it was, the reality is that we don’t really know who did or who didn’t. Do we really think that Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmiero, Jason Giambi, Alex Rodriguez and those in the Mitchell Report are the only players who used steroids? The reality is that we don’t know. One of the guys that he did not vote for set a fairly respected record for consecutive games played, and one of the benefits of performance-enhancers is the ability to recover faster. I have been bashed by many for even daring to mention that because “he wouldn’t do that.” Do we know? Do we really know?

 

Today is a sad day for baseball… again, and there are writers and others out there who just want to bring baseball fans down. Why? Some quest for truth? Something against sports and stars? A way to bring rich people down?

 

We are about a week from pitchers and catchers. We should only be talking about the wonderful game that baseball is. I should be posting a Saturday blog about the Twins agreeing to terms with a very solid reliever in Luis Ayala. We should be talking about what that means in terms of other things like, does it mean a potential trade of Phil Humber? Who comes off the 40 man roster when he passes his physical? We should be talking about the Twins 2009 prospects and where they could finish in the AL Central. But no… isn’t it amazing how these stories always show up right before spring training, right after the Super Bowl, during the down time between the Super Bowl, Spring Training and March Madness? Weird, huh?

 

This is unfortunate, and I hate to even write about it, but I am just so annoyed by it. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to put them in the comments, or e-mail me.

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17 Responses to “104 Tested Positive for Steroids SIX Years Ago”

  1. Brock February 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm #

    No comment besides I hate it just as much as you do.

  2. Jimbo February 7, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    So the reporter who discovered this info should’ve just looked the other way?
    Yep, Seth, this is all a big conspiracy designed to put you in a bad mood.

  3. JA February 7, 2009 at 3:47 pm #

    Seth, I understand your frustration, but the media must be diligent on this topic. I personally dislike these stories as much as you do, but I do want as much of the truth to be known as possible. The game exists because of people like us who are willing to spend a major portion of our expendible income following the game. However, stories about the players and the game itself are what and will keep me a hardcore lifetime fan of the Twins and baseball of all levels.
    I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts on the Luis Ayala signing, and what this means for the 25 man roster.

  4. Ben W February 7, 2009 at 3:48 pm #

    Seth, it’s definitely a black eye on baseball, but the media is not at fault here. No one is trying to ruin baseball for you except for the players who cheated and the MLB brass that looked the other way for so long.

  5. Joel February 7, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    The big name here is A-Rod. I will only have a problem with this if they don’t treat A-Rod and Barry Bonds the same. They are now the same!

  6. mike wants wind February 7, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    Sorry Seth, the only people who are “bad” here are the players, not the media.

    If you cheat, you should be held accountable for cheating. If you cheat, you aren’t really playing the game.

    Frankly, other than it might encourage other people from being stupid and ruining their life in the long run, I’m not sure I care if athletes use steroids, except it is against the rules.

  7. Lyndon Griffin February 7, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    Sadly, your story and all the comments preceding me are true, though some share conflicting viewpoints. A real problem for we baseball purists is that baseball, uniquely, is a game of collective statistics that can somewhat be reliably compared over the decades. For example, who would argue that a current pitcher can pitch faster than Walter Johnson? Who would argue someone has more power than Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig? Such thoughts cannot be advanced for other professional sports. Baseball players can get bigger, stronger, more versatile, though certainly not smarter — but hand/eye corridination remains the same. We even care about wooden bat integrity.

    It is disgraceful that the players union resisted efforts to demand bio-chemical integrity for so long — and Major League owners cow-towed to the union. It is not allowed in the Olympics. While it is not good that enhancements allowed many players in the lower levels of the big leagues (ie, Juan Rincon, perhaps) at least they did not set records. The record setting players should be banned from the Hall of Fame, as in some cases they already are well tainted.

    Finally, if one expects fairness or integrity from the press, one is living in dreamland.

  8. doofus February 7, 2009 at 5:17 pm #

    They should publish the whole list so we can be done with it already. The testing is more stringent now. People are still going to use steroids and try to get away with it, just like they will try to scuff, mud, and spit on the ball, cork the bat, steal signs….. and the list goes on….. if your not cheatin your not tryin…..If you get caught your not tryin hard enough and you pay a penalty of some kind and move on…..

  9. TT February 7, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    1) This is old news. Jose Canseco told us all this a long time ago. People chose not to believe him despite the fact that the evidence was all there.

    2) Steroid use was not “cheating” – it was and is illegal. Its like saying kneecapping your opponent is “cheating”.

    3) Unlike scuffing the ball, steroid use is dangerous to the health of the players.

    4) Alex Rodriguez is not one of the game’s greatest players, just one of its most dishonest. Every accomplishment he has had was at the expense of honest players who followed the law.

    5) The explanation that the burst of home runs a few years ago was a result of “modern training techniques” was probably true – with “modern training techniques” being a euphemism for chemical enhancements.

    6) This did not start in the 90’s. That is just when it became obvious because elite players started to use steroids and other chemicals to push the envelope of achievements at the top of the curve. My bet is that there are already players in the HOF who used steroids. That doesn’t mean they should elect more of them.

    7) This was not a secret. A lot of players knew players were “juicing” and turned a blind eye to it. That they are all now tainted is not entirely unjust.

  10. Rosterman February 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    Yeah, who does come off the 40-man when Ayala passes his physical? Korecky? Butera? Macri? Better yet, what if the Twins do take a shot with Crede?

    Be interesting to see how the Humber and Boof scenario plays out. Yes, the Twins have their young five, but I still think Perkins could be on the bubble, pushed to the bullpen (or even Rochester — does he have options) and maybe someone else will be the fifth man.

    Who knows.

    Spring training is around the corner.

  11. thrylos98 February 7, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    Unless Neshek can be placed in the 60-day DL to release a spot again, I think that Armado Gabino is as good as gone now.

    As far as the A-Rod thing, I have mixed feelings. The one thing that I feel strongly about is that all of steroid users (from Dan Naulty to ARod to Bonds to Giambi to Clemens etc) should be treated equally by baseball. However, it is very hard to know who used/uses steroids and who is not. So, you either close this era as a big parenthesis in the baseball history and take everything accomplished with a grain of salt and demand testing similar to the Olympics (every athlete gets test after each even; they can do that with everyone in spring training and monthly during the season) or you will continue the uncertainty.

  12. mike wants wind February 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    Steroids = bad, amphetamines and other pills players took in the 50’s-70’s= ok? Players have been taking performance enhancing drugs since the dawn of the game, probably. It’s just that we know about it now.

  13. Mike C February 9, 2009 at 3:26 pm #

    I was really bumbed about A-Rod, for some reason I wanted to believe he was one of the “good guys”.

    Not sure what bringing all of this out now really accomplished.

  14. g thomas July 4, 2009 at 6:00 pm #

    at this point and time it doesn’t matter who was on steriods. the pitchers were on it the hitters were on it as well, to me that made it a even playing field

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. On Steroids, Sex, Gambling, and Drugs… Can we just get over it? « Call to the ‘Pen - February 9, 2009

    […] wrote a great post a few days ago about how, well, stupid and unfair it was of SI to publish reports of A-Rod testing […]

  2. History in the making | the hyphen - January 11, 2010

    […] having hit 762 career home runs. Bonds was suspected of having taken performance-enhancing drugs; 104 MLB players were suspected of having failed drug tests in 2003. Speculation surrounded big name players such as […]

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