What steroid problem?
Posted: Wednesday December 19, 2007 8:51PM; Updated: Thursday December 20, 2007 11:41AM
The bottom line for me -- and this feels so good -- is that there was no steroid era at all in baseball. There were just a few years when some very good players were wooed from good behavior by the temptation of illicit substances or forced through desperation and injuries to try something they would never have otherwise touched.
And there are also poor souls like Bonds and former Olympic sprinter Marion Jones. Barry has been saying for years now that he thought his trainer, Greg Anderson, was giving him flaxseed oil, not a cocktail of steroids that would make his head expand.
And Jones was stuck in the sway of Trevor Graham, who could field an Olympic team of his own with athletes he's coached who have tested positive or been suspended for steroid use. Mrs. Jones admitted in October that she was consuming steroids like Power Bars around the time she won five medals at the Sydney Olympics, but the thing is: She didn't know it! She also thought that Graham was giving her flaxseed oil.
It all makes sense now, doesn't it? Athletes don't cheat. They don't try to get an edge over other athletes. They might experiment with steroids. They might use a little something to get over an injury before getting clean. They might even do what some evil trainer tells them to do. But they would never just muck up their bodies and our beloved games with performance-enhancing drugs just to play better baseball or to run a race a little faster.
But if I had any doubt left at all, along came Roger Clemens, the big lug from Texas. His name was all over the Mitchell report, casting aspersions on those 354 career wins (65 of them in his 40s; incredible!) and 4,672 strikeouts. The accusations said he was injecting steroids like a professional cyclist in his prime. Big Rog would have none of it. "I want to state clearly and without qualification: I did not take steroids, human growth hormone or any other banned substances at any time in my baseball career or, in fact, my entire life," Clemens said Tuesday in a statement issued through his agent, Randy Hendricks. "Those substances represent a dangerous and destructive shortcut that no athlete should ever take."
You tell 'em, Roger. No excuses for you. No non-accountability accountability. You're my hero, man, my hero.
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