While most of the free world is checking on Alex Rodriguez, trying to find any holes in his story, I’m wondering why the rest of baseball is getting a pass. Now, I’m about to pick a team at random — literally pointing at a page — and I come up with the Minnesota Twins. Ok, that’s fair. I’m looking at their roster and see who they have that played in 2003.
Mike Redmond. There’s someone who you wouldn’t suspect, but Mike, are you on the list of 2003 survey positives?
Joe Nathan. You were a teammate of Barry Bonds and several other players who have tested positive or had involvement with BALCO. Are you on the list?
Michael Cuddyer. You’ve had injury problems and have probably wondered if there was some way to stay healthier. Are you on the list?
Luis Ayala. You were in Montreal as a rookie in 2003 and you’re from Mexico, where some steroids are available over the counter. Are you on the list?
Justin Morneau. You came up in 2003 and have been one of the best hitters in baseball since then. When you were in the minors, you had a ton of injuries, but almost no problems in the majors. Are you on that list?
I’ll agree with you. None of these players deserves to be asked the question, but the fact is that if we’re going to cover this story smartly, the question about who is and who isn’t on that list — one that was intended to be anonymous, but not only wasn’t, but is being selectively leaked, exists.
If journalists are going to admit that they were asleep at the wheel throughout much of the steroid era, it’s time to start asking the hard questions. I’ve seen, so far, only one instance of this, with Ivan Rodriguez. Credit to whoever it was that asked, though I can’t find it online.
Finally, we need to take a look at players who have played their entire minor and major league career under a testing program and decide whether or not we believe in professional sports’ strongest testing program. I’m pretty sure that it’s done baseball no good, because no one seems to believe that it’s stopping things, despite positive results going from 96 to 2 in five years. I was at the NFL Combine today, watching 350 pound men running sub-5.0 dashes, lifting cars … and being called undersized.
We can continue to cover this story as if we’re the sports section of TMZ or we can do the hard work it takes to try educate and enlighten the story. If I were Dinn Mann, the editor of MLB.com, or any sports editor across the country, I’d have my beat writer asking the question.