Will steroids dominate the headlines?
The fallout from baseball's steroids scandal may descend on players sooner than the game would prefer.
Already, interested parties are putting the heat on suspected steroid users. Congress is demanding the names of suspected steroid users be made public, while names such as Barry Bonds and Gary Matthews Jr. have been attached to separate investigations into illegal distribution of performance-enhancing substances.
It's difficult and irresponsible to speculate on which current players are or have been involved in taking steroids, but it's clear that their names may come to light with startling quickness. What's unclear is how a game that's already questioning its values will hold up under an avalanche of accusations.
Peter Gammons: "Sorry, but baseball is entertainment, and in entertainment perception and reality smudge into one another. More people seem to get upset about someone -- or maybe some thousand someones -- using performance-enhancing drugs than football players being encouraged to bash heads until they are senseless. But it's there. And the chemists who are concocting the good, undetectable stuff are still making a lot more money than the chemists who create the tests. In every sport."
Feb. 28, 2007
News, notes, quotes from Florida
Buster Olney: "The commissioner must consider the possibility that there will be many, many more names connected with these Internet busts in weeks to come, as more companies are raided. If he tries to suspend [Gary] Matthews and [Jerry] Hairston unilaterally, he must be prepared to do the same with many other players, including stars. At the same time baseball is championing its drug-testing, these pharmacy busts and the possibility of resulting suspensions would mostly serve to highlight just how easy it is to circumvent baseball's program (and it always should be noted that all other pro leagues face the same dilemma)."
March 3, 2007
Muddling through the drug mess
Jayson Stark: "The fact is, people have oversimplified this issue, to the point that, if you listen to the way most folks talk about it, you'd think there were only 10 players taking any kind of performance-enhancing drugs in the '90s.
"But we know that, in truth, there were probably hundreds. So should I cast votes only against players who happened to get mentioned in Jose Canseco's book, or who got subpoenaed by Congress? What about all the other players who I might suspect were doing something but whose names have never come up in this conversation?"
Jan. 8, 2007
An uncomfortable vote for McGwire
Relief pitcher, New York Mets
Suspension: 50 games
Relief pitcher, Cleveland Indians
Suspension: 10 days
Relief pitcher, Minnesota Twins
Suspension: 10 days