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Integrity lost in steroid debacle

 I’m really not surprised by anything anymore when it comes to the steroids saga in Major League Baseball. I figured big names would continue to come out from the list of 104 from the 2003 “anonymous” testing. But I think it’s time for everyone to come clean in this matter. 

It’s no longer a matter of there being a problem; it’s a matter of how MLB wants to manage the cleanup. Commissioner Bud Selig can either sit back and continue to let names leak out one by one for months or even years, or just release the entire list right now and get it over with. It’s kind of like taking off a Band-Aid. It’s way easier to rip it off and deal with the quick burst of pain than to slowly pull the sticky thing off, ripping out hair after hair. 


I’m sick and tired of how this whole thing is being dealt with. Selig continues to advocate for tougher testing, but then brushes over the fact that he’s partly to blame for letting it get out of hand in the first place. Then the Players’ Union keeps trying to stall further testing and reports have leaked that players have been getting warnings about when testing was going
to happen. 


It’s not about steroids anymore, although people can argue that it still is. It’s more about integrity and coming clean. With the latest revelation that David Ortiz was taking PEDs in 2003, the country has witnessed yet another star who has set a double standard. Ortiz said just last year that anyone who was caught using PEDs should automatically be suspended for one year — no questions asked. He’s firmly denied ever using steroids and has tried to distance himself from guys who have. 


Looking back, how does it look? To me, it looks like a guilty person trying to hide his own past by calling out others. It’s really sad to see because Ortiz was a well-liked player in the league, but how do you keep liking a guy who would call for harsh penalties for users, only to be caught using himself? 


It comes back to integrity. Yes, taking PEDs is cheating based on MLB rules. I could care less about this because I’m more concerned with how players are acting when caught. Denial. Outrage. More lying. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens have serious allegations against them. Both responded with vehement denials and fans have turned against the one-time greats. We all know they took, but just like Rafael Palmeiro, they will continue to deny in the face of some pretty damning evidence. 


Same goes for Alex Rodriguez, who tried to minimize the damage of his bombshell by saying he took only during his time with the Rangers. Then he denied much knowledge into what he took and he said that he didn’t think it was illegal. 


Don’t we want to see people own up to their mistakes? I know I would. If Barry Bonds had said right away that he messed up and he’s sorry, there would have been a week of coverage, then it would have faded into the distance. But instead of getting past it, every time his name is said, people automatically think of his flat denial and we all think he’s guilty. 


What baseball needs is a purge. It needs the equivalent of a soul-searching session where it sits down with the media and bares all. The rest of the list needs to be released, mistakes need to be admitted. A new system needs to be put into place so the public feels as if MLB is taking the right action for the future of the sport. Only then can we go about healing the sport. 


Sure it would be tough at first. Fans might leave and some sponsors might, as well. But in the end, sins will have been confessed and the sport will have the second chance it so desperately needs. Here’s to hoping baseball comes out of its steroid-induced slumber before any more damage is done.



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