The New York Times reported today that Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz tested positive for performance enhancing drugs in 2003.
I think it’s a shame.
It’s a shame that so many players were “using”. It’s a shame that these players felt the need to continually lie about it.
But even more than these, it’s a shame that Major League Baseball lied to the player’s union.
Baseball had a drug problem, and a big black eye to show for it. Fans screamed for testing—longing for baseball to return to the pure game they once knew. Writers screamed for testing—longing to scream at someone, for anything.
In 2003, the players union and the league office agreed to an anonymous survey test of 1,438 major league athletes. And of these 1,438 players, somewhere between five and seven percent tested positive—that’s somewhere between 72 and 100 players. Mandatory testing was to begin the following year, and the results of the tests were to be destroyed to preserve the anonymity of the players.
But the results were never destroyed, and the names of the players are no longer anonymous. In an effort to fix one problem, baseball has created another one.
To me, it’s an issue of trust, integrity, and good old-fashioned family values.
I know some of the players cheated—I’m not letting them off the hook for that. I know some of the players lied—I bemoan that, as well. But that doesn't give the league office permission to lie.
Whatever trust existed between the league and the players is now gone. This test wasn't something that the union wanted to do, but they consented for “the good of the game.” No longer will the player’s union of Major League Baseball—or any other sport, for that matter—consent to such a survey.
No matter how interesting it may be to me, personally, to find out who tested positive I will never call for the names to be made public. Truth begotten by lies is not a truth that I want to take part in.
With every public release of a name, the commissioner’s office is turned into a den of liars—that’s not for the good of the game.
To me, that's the real shame of the situation.