What's the relevance of this? Well, I've read through some commentaries on assorted blogs and websites, and I've got two things I want to discuss (and would like to hear other people discuss):
- How does this revelation affect the steroid era players who've been tagged as steroid users and their fate with regards to the Hall of Fame? I've never been all that concerned with the "purity of the game" that so many commentators cite as their reasons for not casting a vote for Mark McGwire, which will presumably be similar to the votes they'll cast (or not cast) for Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro, and other suspected or proven steroid users. But that's the argument that many BBWAA voters provide when asked why they wouldn't vote for McGwire. Does Rodriguez's admission mean that McGwire might be looked upon in a more favorable light? And, even if not...
- ...why isn't the bigger part of this story the fact that 104 baseball players tested positive in 2003? I don't think all major leaguers were tested, but even if they were, 104 players constitutes 13.8% of active players (30 teams, 25 active players per team). And that's only the players who were too stupid to stop using steroids when baseball announced they'd be testing that year. People say that A-Rod, and any other steroids users, got an unfair advantage over their opponents through it, but when 14% of your opponents (and probably a lot more) are also using steroids, any arguments about fairness go out the goddamn window.
My cousin Nick made the analogy for A-Rod that any punishment from baseball, current or future, is like getting pulled over and given a warning, then five years later getting issued a speeding ticket. To me, both situations sound equally ridiculous, and I'll vehemently argue any opposition to Rodriguez's eventual Hall of Fame candidacy.
I heard on Mike & Mike this morning that there were 525 negative tests to go along with the 104 positives. That's nearly 1/6 players who tested positive that season. Astonishing.
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