Monday, September 10, 2007

here come the boo birds.

(Joshua Masayoshi Huff)

Oh boy…steroids. Have we touched it? I don’t believe so. We haven’t even talked about Barry “Roid Rage” Bonds at the Collective—so here we are now.

Of course, it would have made sense to talk about the subject after it was discovered that Rick Ankiel was found to have received shipments of HGH…of course, it would have also made sense to write about 'roids when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were on the hunt for Maris’ one-year record, but here we are.

Now, though, there are some relatively “mid-major” names coming out—namely, Troy Glaus and Jay Gibbons. Glaus got his human growth hormone shipments in 2003—before it was made illegal by MLB.

I’m not going to lie—the second I saw that Jay Gibbons, who has been one of the best players on the otherwise laughable Orioles roster for the last few years, had received HGH was the second that I decided to write this blog. I love the Orioles—which is hard—and was astonished that Gibbons had done it.

Gibbons and Glaus are solid players, but they aren’t putting up amazing numbers and they never have…and, most likely, they never will. Everyone wants to focus on Barry Bonds, and that’s fine—we should be concerned.

But the fact that only “solid” players are taking HGH is incredibly troubling. Pitchers are using HGH—everyone’s juicing. And, when someone like Ankiel—someone who was a pitcher who was forced to go down to the minors because he lost his pitch control and came back to the majors as an out-fielder—is accused of taking HGH, things get more serious. Ankiel had a feel-good story; he was a role-model for little leaguers everywhere. Now, he’s an “I knew it was too good to be true” story.

Ankiel asked the media to respect the doctor-client confidentiality agreement. Fine, Rick, but tell us the truth…were they really prescribed to you by your doctor or by the steroid house in Florida?

This is a black eye for an already battered MLB. Where do we go? The players’ union needs to stop rejecting blood testing. MLB currently has no HGH test mandated—it needs to take the blood of every single one of its athletes now and it needs to keep these vials of blood on file until MLB decides on a test. It doesn't matter that Ankiel wasn't a hitter when he did it...he cheated, plain and simple.

What if the MLBPA refuses the blood tests? I know this is a painful suggestion, but the owners need to lock the players out. I know the sport is reeling, but the game cannot be brought into further disrepute.

The fact that everyone is cheating doesn’t make it okay—even if that’s what the players tell you. Just because a pitcher juices doesn’t make it moral for batters to juice.

The silver lining in all of this is that A-Rod will have the all-time home run mark in 10 years.

Unless, of course, the players’ union declines the blood tests and MLB decides to lock the players out as a result.

Fat chance, of course. The owners don’t care about honesty—they care about the bottom line. Why should they? It’s a business—and it’s unfortunate that all my posts seem to end with this ubiquitous truth these days.