December 13, 2007


That steroid report came out today. I am not convinced that this is some major issue ruining the game forever-- after all, historically speaking unfair conditions were present during many other periods (think all-white teams...). But the players named are certainly deserving of some scorn. Jere points out that the turn-of-the-century Yankees were basically a total fraud.

So the 2000 champion Yanks were pretty much a cartel, with Roger the Traitor, Pettitte (what would Jesus do? Cheat, apparently), Stanton, Justice, Glenallen Hill, Denny Neagle, Jason Grimsley, of course, and, ha, Knoblauch in on the act. (Like with Gagne, though, the stuff didn't work for one Mike Lansing.) You tellin' me Derek Jeter didn't at least hear about this stuff going on?
How dare he accuse St. Jeter of a misdeed! Captain Intangible Super-Classy Jeter surely had no clue any of this was happening. After all, he had none of the investigative tools of a retired Senator seven years after the fact.

I've always been more pissed off by the thought that steroided players were affecting championships than that they were breaking records. I mean, a record is only as good as the reputation it bestows upon the holder, and if everyone already considers you a fraud, what is it worth anyway? On the other hand, even though Giambi's 2 home runs in game 7 of the 2003 ALCS proved to be the difference no one is giving us that game back. And even if a Series winning team is found to have had a bunch of steroid-users, it is tough to single out the responsibility. Yet what is more important, Bond's home run record that no one considers legitimate anyway? or a bunch of World Series outcomes altered unknowably?

Hopefully, those 2000 Yankees will go down in history like the Black Sox.


Soxlosophy said...

Nice post.

I often wonder exactly what the problem with steroids is; to me, there are at least two distinct issues, pretty much unrelated to each other.

If the concern is the sanctity of prior records, then even if everyone was on steroids and it was legal, people would still worry that the transformation into atomic supermonsters, so to speak, would diminish the value of the historical record, and break the continuity with the past. Perhaps this sort of thing wouldn't concern you?

You seem more bothered by the cheating than the hulking- that some players cheat and take steroids, but others don't, results in an uneven playing field, and the Giambi's of the world hitting two dongs in a game 7 (a game I attended, I'm proud to say.)

So, supposing steroids were legal, such that it wouldn't be unfair to use them, would you be opposed to players' improving their games in whatever way they could?

Just thought i'd ask for an intelligent opinion, as i'm not sure myself what i think about it.