Jump to content

Sportswriters urge baseball to end era of cheaters!


Recommended Posts

US sportswriters urge end to sluggers' 'freak show'

Fri Dec 14, 9:30 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - American sportswriters on Friday urged Major League Baseball to take harsher action to prevent steroid and hormone use following the release of a probe that accused some 80 players of doping.

The Mitchell Report named top stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens among dozens of current and former players who have used steroids, exposing more than a decade of drug use in the sport known as America's pastime.

"On Thursday, (former US senator George) Mitchell pulled back a tiny flap on the curtain covering baseball's freak show and let in some light. It was ugly, it was revealing. And it was high time. What a great day for baseball," wrote Anne Killion in the San Jose Mercury News.

Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune in Mesa, Arizona, said that like many, he was drawn to the "wow factor" of seeing unexpected names like famed Yankees pitchers Clemens -- who issued a quick denial through his lawyer -- and Andy Pettitte among the "cheaters."

"But as I read through the names and their stories, I became numb. Was this really surprising? Was I shocked that many of baseball's greats had become human pharmacies the last 20 years? Of course not ... What's important is what Major League Baseball does with the report."

Mitchell urged improved drug testing and called for baseball to create a department of investigations, while Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig promised: "His report is a call to action and I will act."

Bordow urged Selig to resign once Mitchell's recommendations are implemented.

"His sport was dirty, and he waited too long to try to clean it up. He's as much to blame as Clemens, (Miguel) Tejada and Bonds," all of whom were named in the report as steroid users.

Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer said US professional baseball must take a step further and hand over responsibility for drug testing to an outside organization.

"If this were serious, and not merely a showy self-flagellation in which a few villagers are also sacrificed, then Major League Baseball would sign the World Anti-Doping Agency code, taking all testing and discipline out of its own hands and giving it over to an independent organization," Ford wrote.

"Testing, including unannounced, out-of-season testing, would be handled by the USADA and, as with all the international sports federations who abide by the code, a first positive result gets you at least a two-year suspension, maybe four."

Still Ford, as well as his colleague Michael Rosenberg from the Detroit Free Press, admitted they were skeptical.

"Maybe someday baseball will rid itself of performance-enhancers. But that day is so far off, I suspect I will hear the news on my spaceship," Rosenberg said.

"From now on, the best that MLB can do is keep updating its testing program to make it more rigorous, more advanced and fairer. The sport needs a program that catches cheaters at a high enough rate to scare most other players away from using drugs. The current program, which does not test for human growth hormone, is still not strong enough."

Harvey Araton of the New York Times said the signs of drug abuse were apparent to those who followed the sport, recalling one moment during a 2000 World Series game when Clemens hurled a piece of broken bat at slugger Mike Piazza.

"It was an act so irresponsibly bizarre that I commented in a column, tongue in cheek, that Clemens's behavior met a standard for what pharmacologists have referred to as 'roid rage. Here we are, seven years later, and I've come to realize I wasn't kidding," Araton wrote.

Author and sportswriter Mitch Albom said the greatest impact of the revelations would be felt among the sport's youthful fans for years to come.

"Take one of those players. Maybe he was juiced ... Say that juiced player is a guy like Clemens, who has hundreds of thousands of young fans. And now they see his name and accounts of him allegedly having needles stuck in his body to get an edge.

"And those thousands of kids lose their belief in him, or the sport. And when they grow up they tell their kids you can't trust these guys. And on and on. This is no small pond, the sport of baseball, and a rock in these waters can ripple forever."

"If, as some have suggested, at a low estimate, five to seven percent of major league baseball took or takes performance-enhancing drugs, that is still 70 to 100 players," Albom wrote in the Detroit Free Press.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Clemmens bat toss as well as Rockers ..... commentaries on New Yorkers and their lifestyles got realy understandable .. as did Belle running over a 2nd baseman about half his size and then letting off steam by chaing a bunch of neighborhood kids in his suv.

Was also puzzled by the absence of McGwire and Sosa after all the rumors about them. ???????

Not condoning this a bit, .... but ..... Teams dangle Millions upon millions of dollars in front of these guys in recognition of enhanced performances while turning a blind eye to the enhancers and then go .. My God how did this get so bad ????

Nobody looks good on this one. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...