I don't feel anything.
Not a single thing.
I was trying to enjoy a late-morning nap, when I get a call from a friend, and reputed Sox hater, laughing hysterically about the latest news.
Manny Ramirez and David "Big Papi" Ortiz are among the 100+ listed players that tested positive for steroids back in 2003.
My stance on the steroids issue has always been the least popular, yet most sensible. The players get the lion's share of the blame, yet
all who are affiliated with the game (players, coaches, owners, fans, and Bud Selig) are all responsible in some shape or form. I don't look at this era as one full of isolated incidents, but rather a culture that was accepted, passively neglected at the least. However, up until now, baseball reported somebody that wasn't a clear-cut Hall Of Famer.
Before I address the leaking of their names, I want to talk about legacy. Just this past weekend, we saw Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice become the newest inductees in the Hall Of Fame.
While Rickey made the cut in his first year of eligibility (while oddly not receiving 100 percent votes), Rice barely crossed that 75 percent vote barrier in his last year of eligibility. I remember watching Rice as a kid, and it's always been an enigma to me why he nor Andre Dawson weren't in the Hall earlier.
And Papi, as good as he is, is no Rice nor Dawson. Ortiz is a career .283 hitter with barely over 300 home runs in 12 years of experience. Before 2003, Ortiz's career high in batting average was .282 in 2000; his home run and RBI high was 20 and 75, both in 2002. Certainly there was nothing about Ortiz that suggested he should even be mentioned among today's greats, let alone all-time greats.
Before Ortiz, the only major player whose name was linked to steroids, that I believe their performance was greatly "enhanced" by the magic superhuman drug was Jason Giambi.
Manny, on the other hand, I believed was a HOF'er regardless, along with guys like Bonds, Sosa, Clemens, A-Rod, Palmeiro, and McGwire; guys whose names are linked one way or another to steroids. So I can't say that his performance was enhanced any by the drug. Besides, McGwire, these guys in some shape or form demonstrated that they excelled in other facets of the game besides the long ball.
My belief is that if these guys were among the league's elite with or without being linked to steroids and not solely on steroids (and these are the only great names linked), then they should unquestionably enter the Hall.
In regards to the leaking of the names every two or three months, I believe this is hurting baseball worse than keeping the names completely secret. First of all, I find it very hard to believe, with the information that we do know, that these 105 or so players are the
only guys who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, or that used them. I believe it is way deeper than these tests can verify or that writers can speculate. Secondly, if there was no intention in releasing these names all at one time, then baseball should not have even bothered making this list or keeping it.
What's hurting baseball and not allowing it to move on is that there is some schmuck that has this list in his position and is only dropping a name or two every so often at his convenience. What good reason is there in doing that? What possible good can there be for the game of baseball that would make someone do that?
Clearly, the best thing for Selig to do is release the names all at once, sometime during the offseason so the media and fans can get it out of their system before the 2010 season. To me, that will help everyone get past this issue so that real fans, such as myself, can love the game again.