Is anybody really surprised? Yesterday, when it was released that David Ortiz used performance enhancing drugs in 2003, the news sort of rolled off my back. With Manny's positive test this season and Ortiz's huge drop in production over the last few years, there was already a cloud of suspicion in my mind that perhaps the 2004 and 2007 Red Sox World Series titles were "tainted". But what does tainted really mean? My guess is that every team from 1990 on probably had at least one juicer in their clubhouse. So is any team really "untainted"? These players have lost my respect, but I'm sure there were just as many of them on every team. Moreover, there are only a few players in the entire game who I would really be hurt to see on this phantom list from 2003.
David Arias? This is bigger news to me than Big Papi being on steroids. As I was being rebuffed by scalpers outside Fenway yesterday for refusing to pay more than $40 for standing room only tickets, I was asked to be interviewed by some dude claiming he worked for NPR. Naturally, I jumped at the chance. He asked me how I felt about the Big Papi scandal, and I told him that I wasn't surprised and it doesn't really change anything for me. If you think that there was a player putting up prolific numbers on your team during the 90s and early 2000s that wasn't juicing then you are in denial. This is the era that we have grown up in.
In terms of this steroid list from 2003, it either needs to be destroyed or released in full. This media frenzy over names being released is sickening. I feel like this list is being exploited so that people can make money off of it, when it was merely supposed to be an anonymous survey. As soon as the Big Poopi controversy dies down, I'm sure another name will magically appear in some big paper and stir up another frenzy. Despicable.
There are only a few players that, if they were named in this 2003 report, would make me really lose faith in baseball. The biggest of those being Ken Griffey Jr. Ken Griffey Jr. has always been baseball's hero for this era in my book. There is no doubt in my mind that his 600+ home runs are clean. If he were named in 2003 though, I think I might have to give up on baseball altogether.
Cal Ripken and Derek Jeter are two others. Though I'm not wild about either of them personally, they stand for so much in baseball. When you think of effort, fair play, and class, these guys usually come to mind. Were it ever to come out that one of them were juicing (obviously Ripken wasn't playing in 2003, but still) the game would be dealt a huge blow.
Last but not least, if Ryan Howard was singled out in those whole steroid witch hunt, I would be very upset. To me he represents a new generation of sluggers coming out of the steroid era. Albert Pujols would also be on this list. Looking at these guys, sometimes I really have no idea whether they are juicing or not. Needless to say though, if they were it would be terrible for baseball. We would have made no progress since 2003.
I believe that baseball fans are slowly becoming numb to steroid allegations. We are ready to move on and there are only a few names that would really surprise and shock us to find that they were using. Other than those names, nobody really cares any more. You can only be outraged so many times before it becomes old hat. I am becoming more outraged with the handling of this magical list from 2003 than anything else. This thing either needs to be destroyed or released in full. The way that it is being manipulated now is very disgusting in my opinion. Fire Bud Selig.