Thursday, July 30, 2009

I don't care if Big Papi used roids

I don't care if A-Rod did them, or Barry Bonds, or anyone else, for that matter. A lot of folks were on the juice during the era from the early '90s until about 2003, when MLB finally got serious about testing. Some were on them briefly, some were long-time users, but damn near all of the players used at one point or another. We all knew it, too.

Here's the thing: I don't really care about then. I care about now. Since 2006 there's been a comprehensive testing program with punishment. That's what I care about. Positive tests before 2006? Whatever. Since 2006? Throw the book at 'em. Beforehand the loophole existed - PEDs were not always explicitly banned and so players got them every way they could.

So I don't care if Papi did steroids in 2003. So long as he doesn't use them nowadays, he's cool by me. Even A-Rod - I don't hate him because he did steroids. I hate him because he's a douche.

Hall of Fame? Different story. That's a numbers-driven business and the steroid users have better numbers. I think this is one of the key reasons Jim Rice finally got in this year - he was pretty much the last of the feared pre-steroid sluggers. I think the voters should be mentally adjusting lifetime stats for steroid use and then voting based on that adjustment. Roger Clemens? Probably still in. Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa? Borderline. Palmiero? No way.