One of the many unpleasant results of baseball’s steroid problem, beyond cheating players, is all of the poorly-informed, mean-spirited, and otherwise pointless commentary the issue has begotten among fans and press. I’m long since tired of commenting on this subject, but because there’s been such a pressing call for a “response” on this site to the allegations against Sheffield and Giambi, in particular, we might as well get a few things, um, clear.
-Evidence indicates Sheff and Giambi used steroids. Certainly a great many other players used steroids. Speculation as to whom those players might be (aside from Barry Bonds and those who have tested positive) is pointless and unfair.
-The wider fault for steroid abuse, beyond the individual players who have used them, stands with the commissioner’s office and the MLBPA, equally. Not the fans.
-Attacking one team, specificaly the Yankees, for signing players who have in the past used steroids seems ridiculous. The conditions for steroid abuse were set by the league as a collective, and we have no idea which teams did and did not benefit on the field, and by how much. Financially, all of the teams benefited—and everyone “knew.” No franchise is morally superior to another. (Though the Giants do seem to have some explaining to do regarding their treatment of Bonds.)
-As fans, all we can do is cheer for the players on our team, even if we don’t care for their personalities. We’re stuck with them, they’re stuck with us.
-Exactly what benefit steroids provide is hard to determine. Certainly they have had some effect, overall, and for certain individuals.
-Altering the record books is an unpardonable rewriting of history.
-A retroactive investigation of individual players by the commissioner would be a very selective form of justice administered by one of the chief culprits of the scandal, and therefore not much justice at all.
-We wish the new policy were tougher, but it’s pretty good. So let’s move on.
-Thanks to Barry Bonds, that’s not going to happen. Ugh.