Oh God, Not Another Blog Posting About Steroids
I’ll keep it short. A bunch of former Jays gave some sound bites to Bob Elliott about Clemens. Absolutely nothing new here, they just fall in line with the fraternity of baseball and refuse to say anything remotely bad about him until he is proved in a court of law to be Zombie Hitler. What did you expect?
But a comment near the end made me think about one of the ‘common sense’ defenses of Roger that you hear frequently- that he had this incredible workout regimen (and he was going to tell kids how to get one, too!), so that somehow makes steroid use less likely, because he didn’t need them, or something.
In reality, it’s the total opposite. You don’t take steroids, go sit in the clubhouse and wait for the muscles to start popping out of your chest. Steroids improve recovery time and your workout drive. One of the reasons Clemens’ career was assumed by scouts to be pretty much done at the age of 33 was that he was lazy and kept showing up to spring training in terrible shape at the end of his Red Sox career. The fact that he went from a slug to a role model overnight is actually another nail in his coffin.
Another quote (from an unnamed source) was:
“I’m not really sure what the Mitchell Report accomplished. Baseball had a drug plan in place. It was working. Players were being suspended for performance-enhancing drugs.
“Why throw a bunch of guys’ reputations under the bus? To satisfy Congress?”
Good question. The report was always always going to be massively incomplete because it just follows leads down from a couple of dealers involved in a sport-wide drug operation. And Mitchell even came out and suggested no punishments be made. So why bother?
Because people are not hung for stealing horses, they are hung so that horses are not stolen. There was such reckless disregard from the players back in the day: paying drug dealers with personal cheques, having illegal drugs shipped straight to #$%#$ Dodger stadium (Gagne), that it’s obvious that the idea there might ever be an investigation or serious repercussions never crossed their mind.
The point was to pillory a couple of first-round Hall of Famers in a very detailed and public fashion so that in the back of the minds of the next generation of potential dopers is the potential for this kind of legal investigation and subsequent humiliation, not just a slap-on-the-wrist suspension or fine. At the very least, from now on they’ll make sure to cover their tracks.