You're the third basemen for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and it's your contract year. MLB steroid policy had not yet been implemented, and the penalties for drug-use were lax. So, you analyze the costs and benefits, and the possibility of an extraordinary salary is overwhelming. You find a trainer, and start taking steroids...
Excluding 2004, Adrian Beltre averaged slightly more than 20 home runs per season. An average number—enough to guarantee a starting position, but just short of All-star material.
In his contract year, Beltre had 48 home runs, more than twice his career average. The difference between his mean average and his maximum home-run total is suspicious, and there is a clearly established motive. He wanted to be paid, and after 2004, he received a 5-year, $64 million deal.
And there is physical evidence to support the alarming statistics. Michael Lewis (yes, the writer of Moneyball) notes that Beltre reported to Spring Training in 2004 20 lbs heavier. So, Mr. Beltre, your defense, "I've never used steroids," he says.
"I might have been slumping these last two years, but the one thing I can say is I've always been clean when playing this sport. I have never cheated. I have never used amphetamines."
I'm not going to take this at face value, and I don't think you will either. (see Giambi, Clemens, Bonds, Rodriguez, Sosa, Palmerio, etc.) The public has the right to the records. Baseball has slowly responded to the Steroid Crisis- they initiated the Mitchell Report, but the entire process has lacked transparency.
The ordinary baseball fan needs to be informed, or the game loses its prestige, its reliability, and, ultimately, its integrity.
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