Baseball’s steroid era, right about now, is giving MLB the “morning after” effect. Although MLB has started to turn the corner with the implementation of a tougher steroid policy, it’s still dealing with current headlines over some prominent players. It’s these stories that are dragging the game down like a bad hangover and will probably continue to do so, for awhile at least. Here’s a snapshot of what’s, in part, holding us back from getting us over the hump of the steroid era.
Barry Bonds is the current record holder for home runs in a single season and for home runs all time. Despite being in the record books, he has been charged with eleven counts of perjury for allegedly lying to a grand jury about steroid use. His trial was set to begin this month, but when the federal court judge ruled certain evidence inadmissible, the government appealed the ruling to a higher court for review. This trial has been postponed indefinitely, which means this story isn’t going away for awhile.
Roger Clemens, one of my favorite players of all time, is going through his own set of issues with alleged steroid use. He testified in front of Congress that he didn’t use performance-enhancing drugs. However, a year later, it has been reported that a grand jury investigation is underway on whether Clemens should be indicted for perjury. Stay tuned on this story.
Then we have New York Yankee, Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez probably thought it was a strategic move to admit steroid use prior to his arrival in spring training for the 2009 baseball season. In some sense it was, but instead questions still linger. Just within the last two weeks, Rodriguez met with MLB to discuss some circumstances surrounding his steroid usage. If, however, additional information leaks out that is contra to what Rodriguez has conceded so far, Rodriguez will most likely be saddling up for the long haul. For more discussion on Rodriguez and the Yankee clubhouse, see article addressing Alex Rodriguez’s Positive Steroid Test Will Be a Distraction…
According to reports, a list of 104 players tested positive for steroids based upon supposed anonymous testing conducted by MLB in 2003. The object of the testing was to see if baseball had a steroid problem in the league. The names were supposed to remain confidential. Rodriguez’s name for whatever reason was leaked to the public. There’s got to be 103 nervous players out there wondering if their names will eventually be released. If the names do get released, the hangover will just continue. The upside is that perhaps in the long run, it may help the steroid era move closer to closure.
Unfortunately, we may be talking about the steroid era for years to come, particularly when some of these players become eligible for the Hall of Fame. We’ll be talking about Rodriguez, for example, five years after he retires someday from baseball. Hall of Fame voters will have to figure out whether he, as well as others, will be worthy of induction.
Advice to MLB: take two aspirin, lie down, and hope it all goes away.