"I'm not here to talk about the past."
Who knew those eight words would cause such an uproar. Who knew that when Mark McGwire spoke those words to a congressional committee in 2005 he was basically telling the baseball writers of America to keep him out of Cooperstown. Who knew he may have had a good point.
Over the past few weeks, sports headlines have been littered with details of Barry Bonds's upcoming perjury trial. Everyday new information is leaked, from taped conversation to new players being exposed as steroid users. Everyday this soap opera gets messier and messier. Oh what a tangled web has been woven.
Now, on Feb. 7, 2009, an SI.com report is claiming that Alex Rodriguez tested positive for steroids in 2003. Wow! Now can I get back to worrying about the important issues in baseball, like when will the Mets smarten up and sign Manny Ramirez.
Baseball fans know that Barry Bonds did steroids. We know Roger Clemens did steroids. We know Jose Canseco, Gary Sheffield, the Giambi brothers, Rafael Palmeiro, and Andy Pettite did steroids, and those are only the big names. There have been other names brought up, and players such as McGwire, evidence or no evidence, are guilty in the court of public opinion. Let's face it, the truth is out there, but we will never find it.
Pitchers and catchers will be report to spring training about 10 days from now, and it is a shame that baseball has to spend yet another preseason dealing with this issue. Spring training is a time for hope. Every team is a contender. Everyone from GM's to players to fans has a vision that this year may be "the year." Do not cloud the preseason with reality. Baseball reality is not supposed to set in until mid-June.
Are baseball fans angry? Yes. Do baseball fans feel bad for the players of yesteryear such as Aaron, Mays, and Musial, who played the game as it should be played but are still seeing their records shattered? Sure they do, but what's done is done.
Players used steroids, like it or not, so why dwell on an unfix-able situation (come to think of it, as a baseball fan that grew up in the '80s I kind of wish the players I grew up watching's drug of choice was steroids and not cocaine).
Imagine bringing up every single season the fact that some of the greatest ballplayers ever were denied entry to the majors because they weren't white. It's was disgraceful. It will forever be in the back of baseball fans minds, much like an imaginary asterisk will follow the players of the steroid era. It was fixed, much later than it should have been, but it was fixed and baseball moved on. Just like now.
What's done is done. There's no use crying over spilled milk, or in this case, broken records. Maybe Mark McGwire did have a point after all. Maybe we shouldn't talk about the past. With that said, did the Mets sign Manny yet?