Thursday, March 30, 2006

Game of Shadows

The sports radio station I listen to has been buzzing for weeks about the new book Game of Shadows which talks in detail about the steroid use of Barry Bonds.

Today it was announced that the baseball commissioner has decided to get serious and investigate the allegations in the book. In addition to confirming what was said about Bonds, they're also going to go after Gary Sheffield of the Yankees and some others, like Sammy Sosa and presumably Mark McGwire.

I sense a certain reluctance in baseball's hierarchy when it comes to really investigating this. The McGwire/Sosa competition in 1998 generated a lot of money for baseball. The Giants' games sell out because people want to see Bonds hit home runs.

There's talk of taking away the homerun records set by Bonds, McGwire and Sosa. The problem with that is, how can we pretend it didn't happen? Don't you still have to not strike out when you step up to the plate? It's not like you could grab just anyone off the street, juice them up, and expect them to duplicate what these guys did. Even if you hate these guys, there was talent involved.

Then there's another problem -- why stop with them? How many career homeruns of Palmeiro, Sheffield and Giambi do you take away? What about the pitchers like Clemens and Schilling who are alleged to have taken steroids? How many of their wins do you take away? What about those glaring one season wonders like Brady Anderson who hit 50 homeruns in 1996 when he'd only hit 16 the year before? Or Luis Gonzalez with the inexplicable 57 homeruns in 2001?

Lastly, what about the trainers, managers and general managers who had to have known that their players were on steroids? What do you do with them, nothing? If their players can be punished even though they never failed a drug test (with the exception of Palmeiro), they should be punished too.

It's a house of cards. I want to see if they really intend to follow through.

I have my doubts.

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