In the words of the great Joe Morgan, "it's clear to me someone has an agenda here." Morgan is absolutely right. This whole baseball and steroids thing is, quite frankly, getting old and sickening.
It's obvious that whoever is leaking the names of the 104 players, who failed the now infamous random drug test in 2003, is doing so in a strategic and well-organized fashion. I mean, who are they trying to kid?
First, there was Alex Rodriguez. His name, coincidentally, gets leaked out right before the start of the regular season, when baseball is on every one's mind. Oh, and guess what? The Sports Illustrated reporter who broke the story just happened to be releasing a book, titled, you guessed it, A-Rod: The Many Lives of Alex Rodriguez. A keen marketing strategy? You betcha.
Now in the heart of the pennant races, two more names (David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez) get leaked, this time to the New York Times. Is it a coincidence that their names get leaked out together? Again, who are they trying to fool? Now the chatter is: Are Boston's two world championships (2004,2007) tainted? My, oh my, what a coincidence that the Boston Red Sox are in a classic pennant race with the New York Yankees. It wouldn't surprise me if a sports writer from the New York Times, tries to shove a book down our throats one of these days.
Just in case they are putting one together and just need the finishing touches on it, my suggestion for a title is, "Tainted Sox". And why not make it a little poetic, by putting a picture of Curt Schilling's famous bloody sock on the cover?
This whole thing has become a repulsive joke. Fans around the world don't care for it anymore. The players are getting tired of it too. Yankee pitchers, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, suggest they should just release the whole list and get it over with. "Just bring it out", a sickened Rivera said. Quite frankly, he's right.
Why keep fueling this mess? The usual suspects (Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and Roger Clemens) are already in the doghouse. McGwire, a one-time lock for the Hall of Fame, hasn't received more than 25% of the vote in his 3 years of eligibility so far. Palmeiro is the next suspect to become eligible, in 2012, and I doubt he's getting in.
Keeping this list under lock and key is unfair to the players who were clean because it hangs a dark cloud over them too. Release the names of the cheaters and exonerate the good guys. But no, it has to be done in a devious and calculated fashion. And we all know who the "big fish" is. We know who the media hopes is on that list. I'm sure every news organization is salivating, hoping to be the one's who get Albert Pujols, if he's on the list. This isn't fair to him or any other great player. He has vehemently denied ever touching the stuff. Why should he have to answer questions and deal with this dark cloud?
Personally, I don't think Pujols is on the list, but I suspect he's the coveted prize for those involved in this "ponzi scheme".
Brian Schneider, catcher for the New York Mets, put it best, in the NY Daily News: "The games are still going to go on and the fans are still going to come because they love the game. Get the damn list out and let's get it over with."
Damn, I hope they listen to Schneider.