Last week, the New York Times reported that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez failed drug tests as part of performance-enhancing drug testing in 2003.
It’s not the first time names have been leaked from that 2003 testing, which was random testing with its results not being released to the public. The drawn-out leaking of names has been the bruise that just won’t go away for the game of baseball.
Recently, Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and former all-time home run king Hank Aaron have both said they think all 104 names on the list of players failing the 2003 test should be released to the public to put an end to their sport’s suffering.
But I think all can agree that there’s no way that’s going to happen.
Is it good for the game to have those results released? Yeah. Is it good for the media? Of course.
But for the players involved and the union that represents them, it’s not. If you’re a guy whose name is among the 104, you absolutely would rather take your chances hoping your name isn’t leaked to the NY Times or another newspaper, especially if you were an also-ran big leaguer and not a star.
And really, while I think it’s good for the game to get those names out, baseball – or more specifically, those running it – helped create this mess.
Baseball’s history is rife with cheating. The 1919 Black Sox. Gaylord Perry. Pete Rose. Joe Niekro. If you give players a chance to cheat, you can guarantee many of them well.
Competitiveness can bring out the best in anyone. But it can bring out the worst, too.
The players are to blame for their choices. But that’s not to say that Major League Baseball didn’t make a little coin from the steroid era. Let’s remember MLB did little to curb steroid use until the government gave it a push in the right direction.
That’s left baseball mopping up the steroid mess. And fans are left holding the bucket.