Thursday, July 30, 2009

No Joy in Beantown

I'm reading all sorts of news stories all over the internet now about how David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez are both on this infamous list of 104 baseball players to tested positive for PEDs in 2003. Now of course, Manny has already tested positive this year, and served his suspension, so this isn't really huge news. Ortiz is a much bigger story, and a much bigger disappointment, but unfortunately, I can't say I'm really all that surprised (though, to be fair to Papi, there are only a handful players in the game who would really, genuinely surprise me at this point - Jason Varitek and Derek Jeter spring immediately to mind, but there are others).

As to the whole PED issue is a quagmire with no quick or easy answers, so far as I can see. Focusing on which players have used in the past and how to handle things like stats, records, championships, and the like is just going to prolong a problem that is best handled only by a solid drug policy moving forward, and the steady application of time.

But what really hacks me off is this list. The players who agreed to be tested in 2003 were guaranteed two things: that there would be no penalties for positive tests, and that the results would be destroyed immediately after the league was finished with the study it was conducting, so that they would never become public. Obviously that didn't happen. What did happen is that the Feds seized the list, which shortly thereafter became a court-sealed document. But the list is still becoming public. Not all at once, mind. No, the names are leaking out in ones and twos every few months, so that just as the media frenzy over one is dying down, out pops another. A-Rod's results not a big story anymore? Alright, let's release Sammy Sosa's name. Sosa turns out not to be a huge story? The media frenzy died down too quickly? Darn, well, let's toss out a couple names from the Red Sox, that'll make news! Because that's what this is. This is some lousy [expletive deleted] who has been entrusted with confidential information getting his jollies by stirring things up. Nobody benefits from that. The list ought to have been destroyed, because that's what the players were promised. But if the results were going to be released, then they should've been released all at once. The only people who benefit from this trickle of information are the jackass doing the trickling, and the media, who now have something new to blather about for awhile.

This whole mess is just rotten from one end to the other. The fact that there are and have been players using drugs is awful and wrong, but the way this list from 2003 is being handled is infuriating and, in my opinion, just as wrong.

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