Albert Pujols: Steroids User or Clean Player?

Andrew Robeson@SportswriterguyAnalyst IIMarch 10, 2009

Easiest way to annoy a St. Louis Cardinals fan?

Tell them Albert Pujols used steroids. That will really fire them up.

Since 2001, the guy has set the league on fire. Also occurring in the early 2000s, baseball's steroids era.

Tell me its not reasonable to question Pujols. Do you remember the last guy with his build?

He played first base for the Cardinals, too, and he hit 70 home runs in 1998. Then, when his playing days were over, Mark McGwire told Congress in front of an eager television audience that he did not want to talk about the past.

He would have been better off pleading the fifth.

Pujols' name was linked to the Mitchell Report before it was published, but his name never did end up appearing in it.

But has he ever escaped that condemnation? No, and he never will.

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Albert Pujols is the greatest example of how steroids have ruined baseball the last twenty years. How do we distinguish between the clean players and the cheaters? It's all really speculation until someone confesses.

Alex Rodriguez vehemently denied steroid use in a 2007 60 Minutes interview. In 2009, it was revealed he got caught 2003, and he subsequently confessed

Is it just me, or does every player Jose Canseco names end up being guilty? That guy might have been onto something.

And no, I am not saying because A-Rod cheated that means Pujols cheated. What I am saying is that the steroids era has cast a cloud of doubt and suspicion over every great player.

Every other player to put up numbers like Pujols has fallen victim to the steroids scandal.

Pujols is a victim in a different manner.

He may be the best player to ever play the game. But when people look at the era he played in, they will immediately expect him to be a user.

Or there is the possibility he is just another user, as he has been accused and speculated of being.

We can never prove someone is innocent, the only way we will know for sure on Pujols is if he ends up admitting it.

[Update: In an unconfirmed, leaked version of the 2003 "anonymous" steroids list Pujols was not named. This would seemingly be the last major publishing of names that could have implicated Pujols.]

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