Down in a hole (cont.)
Posted: Tuesday May 1, 2007 11:13AM; Updated: Tuesday May 1, 2007 1:21PM
A Strong Resemblance
Kirk Radomski just might be the Curtis Strong of his era. Strong, a former Phillies caterer, was the convicted drug dealer whose 1985 trial in Pittsburgh brought out the names of 21 ballplayers, 11 of whom would be disciplined by commissioner Peter Ueberroth. Were they the only ballplayers linked to cocaine in the 1980s? Uh, no.
So it goes with Radomski and performance-enhancing drugs now. The former Mets clubhouse employee, who admitted before a federal grand jury that he sold steroids to major-league players, has agreed to cooperate with federal officials, and to a lesser extent, with baseball special investigator George Mitchell. This could be the bombshell breakthrough of the era. Names will come out. There are dozens of current or former players who don't sleep well these days, knowing they are tied to Radomski or some other steroid dealer, maybe someone else with canceled checks and FedEx accounts, who just hasn't been pinched yet.
Were they the only players juicing? Uh, no. But justice is not always comprehensive. Some players will be disgraced, just as the drug users of the Pittsburgh trial were (they were granted legal immunity), but I don't want to hear how they "weren't the only ones" or are being "singled out" or, worst of all, that Barry Bonds is somehow a more forgivable cheat in greater known company. (Did you really need names to know hundreds of players were on the juice?) All of them chose to put themselves at this risk -- the risk of the truth being known -- one day.
This is a good day for baseball, which has never apologized for or accurately admitted to the scope of the steroid culture in the game. The more truthful sunshine is cast upon the era, the more baseball can move forward. Radomski, like Strong, is the outside agent it took to force truth upon baseball.