One of the most ignorant and irritating aspects of the steroid discussion engulfing baseball is the presumption of innocence that still exists with regard to certain players. How a person that knows anything about baseball could say,”This player did steroids and cheated; and my favorite player would never do that.” This idiocy was exposed to some degree last week when Ortiz and Ramirez were both revealed to have tested positive in MLB’s 2003 PED audit. And yet that attitude still seems to exist, as presented in a reader submission to GameOn, posted yesterday (emphasis added):
If a player is injured, or is just a contact hitter, then that player does not receive the love that the power guys do. Take Ken Griffey Jr., for example. He has had a great career but during the years that he was injured, he was largely dismissed by fans. Griffey did not take steroids to get back into the lineup like he could have. Instead, he let his body heal naturally. via.
There are two types of players in baseball right now: those that have reportedly tested positive, and those that haven’t. There is no “clean” or “dirty,” because nobody knows who’s “clean.” There’s no point in outing anyone as a “cheater” if we don’t know who didn’t “cheat.” How can you chastise those that failed when (a) there’s still the equivalent of more than three entire teams’ worth of players that failed the 2003 test, and (b) you have absolutely no idea who those players are?
This whole witch hunt is the only thing keeping baseball in the national consciousness. It’s time to pull the plug.