I may be alone in this, but I have an extremely difficult time getting riled up about steroid use in baseball.
In fact, I'd say that there's only one aspect of the issue that interests me, and that's the effect it will have on the historical record—All-Star games, Hall of Fame voting, etc.
Why do we expect players to say no to drugs?
Why do we expect players to have the same reverence for the game of baseball that we do?
Playing baseball isn't extraordinary for them; they've done it all their lives. They have no connection—in most cases—to the history of the game.
For most of these guys, baseball is just a job—an incredibly lucrative job, but a job nonetheless.
Say, for example, that you work at an insurance sales firm. Someone tells you that there's a pill you can take, with a doctor's prescription, that will make you more popular, more productive, and wealthy beyond your wildest dreams.
What's more, many other people in the office are taking it.
Would you ever in a million years say that you have too much respect for the history of the firm and for the people who came before you to take the plunge?
I also take issue with the notion that performance-enhancers have corrupted the legacy of the game. This is a "legacy" that includes more misdeeds far more egregious than doping.
The 1920 World Series was thrown by gamblers. Until 1947, baseball didn't let people with dark skin play.
This is the legacy we have to protect—a legacy of gambling and racism?
If we're throwing asterisks around, shouldn't we put them next to the names of Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, and Ty Cobb...because they didn't have to face the likes of Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson?
Look, I love baseball as much as anyone else, but I just don't care.
Remember when Brett Meyers punched his wife in the face? People forgot about that pretty fast. Meyers may be an abusive monster...but at least his name didn't come up in the Mitchell Report.
Roger Clemens doped. He's greedy and selfish. Fortunately, I don't look to sports stars for moral guidance.
As an aside, can we stop pretending to be shocked by the admission that devout Christians such as Paul Byrd and Andy Petite were involved? Are we really so surprised by moral hypocrisy from evangelical fundamentalist types?
I should make clear that I don't support any sort of drug use in sports. It's dangerous, and it helps to foster a culture of abuse.
However, I don't find myself able to take the sort of personal offense that so many fans seem to be feeling here.
Take F.P. Santangelo—a player I don't mind calling out, as he recently admitted his guilt.
Santangelo was a fringe player, a fourth outfielder. Right or wrong, he may have truly believed that HGH could make the difference between being set for life financially and having to get a second career after baseball.
Doesn't it make sense that he would consider drugs?
Most of the guilty aren't Clemens and Barry Bonds—greedy over-the-hill malcontents looking for more and more millions. They're men who saw users all around them, and seized an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families beyond anything they'd ever thought possible.
All right, there it is. Let's talk about trades now.