Friday, July 31, 2009

Is Anyone Really Surprised?

So the latest leak of results from the supposedly-confidential 2003 Major League Baseball drug tests names some big names: Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz, who would play significant roles a year later in the Red Sox miracle of 2004.

Pardon me for not getting all bent out of shape about this. And no, I'm not a member of Red Sox Nation, blinded to the misdeeds of my heroes.

I came to the conclusion long ago that steroid use was the norm during the late 90's and early 00's. I mean, did we really think all those cartoonish physiques were solely the result of healthy diets and hard work in the weight room?

So why do we keep gasping when yet another figure from the 'Roid Years is outed? Shouldn't we just accept the obvious: lots of players on lots of teams were juicing. We may never know exactly who, but why does that matter so much? We can't possibly know precisely how steroid use affected the game--did sluggers hit the ball farther? Outfielders gain a half-step? Pitchers pick up a half-foot on the fastball or 10 extra pitches of durability?

Let's just accept the obvious and move on. If you think the sport can be cleaned up, speak out in support of stronger testing and penalty programs for the future. But let's quit trying to relive the past.

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