Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hammerin' Hank missed the nail on this one

"I wish for once and forever that we could come out and say we have 100 and some names, name them all and get it over and let baseball go on,"
- Hank Aaron

Hank Aaron is one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Although I’ve only seen him play via old highlights, I respect him greatly for what he did during his time in Major League Baseball.

Recently, Hammerin’ Hank gave an interview where he stated how he wanted to have the list of players that tested positive for performance enhancing drugs to be revealed. He felt that if the list was made public, then baseball could go on and leave the steroid era behind it.

I really hate to do this, but Hank…you’re wrong on this one.

Simply releasing all of the names on that list is not going to let baseball move on from the era of steroids. Do you remember the Mitchell report that came out a couple of years ago? That entire report was supposed to put an end to the rampant use of performance enhancing drugs.

How’d that work out?

I don’t believe that baseball will ever get out of the shadow of steroids and performance enhancing drugs. I’d be willing to be that if some young kid 50 years from now is hitting .330 with 50+ home runs, somebody will raise the question and ask if he is on some sort of steroid.

Also, the names on the list should not be revealed because it is technically illegal. The players took the tests back in 2003 with the understanding that they would remain anonymous. Back then, performance enhancing drugs (PED’s) were not illegal. The tests were done to find out if there was a need to impose random drug testing. I’m guessing that if the tests were not anonymous, then the players union would never have agreed to it.

I do agree with Mr. Aaron on one thing. Releasing one or two names every month is ridiculous. I don’t know how the names are getting out, but releasing the names little by little does hurt baseball. It hurts like plucking out nose hairs hurts. Stinging at first, and then slowly the pain goes away.

Honestly, when Alex Rodriguez’s name came out, it was the talk of the sporting world. But who is talking about it now? That’s right, nobody. The pain went away. In a month or two, Boston fans will not be talking about David Ortiz showing up on that list.

Baseball will go on Hank. Unfortunately, the steroid era will forever be a significant chapter in its history. But the history of baseball is like a book that never ends, there is always another chapter to be written.

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