Steroid arguments all have some merit

Published 11:02 pm Sunday, February 15, 2009

I’ve listened to all the excuses and all the arguments. The test results were supposed to be confidential. But he was guilty. It’s not fair that his name was released and not the other 103 players. If he cheated, he needs to be exposed with Bonds, Clemens, Palmeiro, Giambi, McGwire, Sosa and all the rest.

I agree with all the above.

But the report and eventual admittance by Alex Rodriguez that he did in fact use steroids brings up a lot of other questions. First, how do we deal with the records and numbers put up during the steroid era?

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Some say records were tainted by players in previous eras who used “uppers” when they were tired from the long season. That has some merit, but being up to speed — no pun intended — is different than hitting a pop fly that travels 400 feet.

Do players like Bonds who would have made the Hall of Fame under normal circumstances be banned like the others who cheated? Bonds wouldn’t have so many records or Clemens six Cy Young Awards, but their numbers would have been worthy of induction.

Gene Bennett, the Cincinnati Reds’ chief assistant to the general manager, has been baseball for nearly 60 years. He thinks cheaters don’t belong. Period.

If you let the cheaters in, what about Pete Rose who put up legitimate numbers but engaged in gambling after his playing career?

The whole steroid ordeal is getting tiresome and the excuses insulting. I can just hear A-Rod — a.ka. A-Fraud or A-Roid — and his agent talking about how to approach being exposed. Here are some possible exerts from their conversation.

5. Madonna told me it would give me the stamina I would need.

4. It came to me by mistake in a package marked: Miguel Tejada.

3. Bonds said he already used the flaxseed oil excuse. He told me to say I thought it was a new suntan lotion made especially for those hot Texas hours in the ballpark sun.

2. It was the only way I could get invited to Canseco’s party.

1. There was a lot of pressure trying to spend $25 million every year and not be called frivolous.

Don’t worry about me needling the ballplayers. Obviously, they’re used to it.

—— Sinatra ——

Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.