An arbitrary distinction?

The biggest philosophical problem for me about the steroids era isn’t reevaluating the players who used or the records that were broken but figuring out who did and did not use. I’d like to join those who say, “Steroids were everywhere, let’s just forget the whole thing happened,” but that’s deeply unfair to the players who—for whatever reason—relied on legal means of making it (almost) to the pinnacle of their profession.

Along these lines, Verducci says Carlos Delgado is the lost slugger of the needle era:

So I wondered, if he could see bodies changing all around him, and no testing was in place, what stopped Delgado from joining the juiced nation? Was it the health risk?

“Health, No. 1,” he said. “And No. 2, it’s cheating. I take a lot of pride in my preparation and my ability to understand the game and try to get any edge by watching the game or taking advantage of what’s in my head.

“I guess, if by doing the right thing, should you get extra points for it? I guess so. In this society, all the bad things, the controversial things, get most of the exposure, and I kind of understand how the system works in that way. It’s not news that some guy did it the right way.”

It’s news to me! Who else was clean? Speak now or no one will believe you later.


4 Responses to “An arbitrary distinction?”

  1. York Roberts Says:

    Frank Thomas was pretty damn adamant about being clean when he hit his 500th home run. he said something to the effect of “And I hit 500 homeruns WITHOUT steroids like most of this fucking league of douchebags.”

  2. York Roberts Says:

    I’d be willing to bet Brian Daubach was juice free…..

    Lifetime .259 BA screams “CLEAN” to me…

  3. Kenny Says:

    yea I was going to name Frank Thomas too. But then again, emphatically denying that you used doesn’t make it so, just ask Rafael Palmeiro.

    My solution to all of this Should they be in the Hall and what to do with the records is simple, just put up a plaque or sign or something that says “The players in this wing of Cooperstown played during an era in which many players have been proven to or were suspected of using steroids.” Then when you get to a potential hall of famer you put them in based on their numbers and print right on the plaque what their connection was.

    So Barry gets in, and on his plaque it lists every potential steroid connection:

    “Barry Bonds was a client of BALCO, a company that federal investigators proved distributed illegal steroids. His personal trainer was also convicted, and Barry was indicted and faced trial for perjuring himself about whether he used. However, before he put on 50 lbs and his head grew to enormous proportions he was a lithe, fast, gold glove defender with pretty damn good power who would have probably gone down as a top 20 player in this league. Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite good enough, and now look where he is.”

    Maybe the last sentence was just my editorial commentary, but to me the point is that the “steroids era” happened. Baseball can’t pretend that it didn’t, so why not just be honest about what happened when you talk about it in a historical sense.

    Likewise for players that never had any connection to steroids like Delgado their plaque could read. “this player has never been connected to performance enhancing substances”

  4. zachary Says:

    i kinda like the barry bonds description

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