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The dark clouds hovering over Major League Baseball refuse to dissipate when it comes to PED's (performance enhancing drugs). David "Big Papi" Ortiz is the latest big name player implicated testing positive back in 2003. Add teammate Manny Ramirez inclusion today as for failed '03 in addition to receiving a 50 game suspension this season for another positive test of a banned substance.
PED stories and accusations will not go away. For those of us sick and tired of hearing, blogging, reading and listening to petty lying denials, MLB will never escape this tainted era. Not then, not now and certainly not when juicing cheaters of this generation come up for Hall of Fame consideration. No player implicated in this pathetic scandal should ever be allowed admittance into HOF. It's up to the BBWAA to make sure each and every suspected thug is locked out.
No penalties were handed down as testing in 2003 was sheepishly used to determine if there was a problem brewing in MLB. The players union (MLBPA) and MLB had an understanding all tests were to be conducted anonymously and no names were ever to be publicly released. Penalties for PED use began in 2004, suspensions in '05. As I've said numerous times, players are the public's red meat running cover for owners and a Commissioner who were all in the know well before baseball was shamed into beginning testing.
The Mitchell Report was half farce, half distraction to the true problem of how deeply steroids were being used. Releasing players names was mostly fodder and cover for general managers and owners who often conducted trades by discussing which players were juicing (and not). One of the most biased reports ever to be published, The Mitchell Report (investigated and written by former Senator George Mitchell), was a sham from the beginning. His "independent" report cannot be taken at face value when one considers Mitchell was a Boston Red Sox executive. So baseball trumpeted out one of their own full of commendations to investigate their own league. What came from this report was a half-assed assertion that there was a problem. Most players named in his report involved former players who had played on New York teams. Funny as to how Mitchell omitted star athletes who were currently under contract with his team (Boston). Neither Ortiz or Ramirez names were ever suggested by Mitchell as dopers. In 2004 Boston won their first World Series since 1918 breaking a streak known throughout baseball as "The Curse".
We can all kick and scream as loud as we want. Baseball has always run a sideshow to cover up their erroneous acts. Not one owner, general manager, field manager, coaches or team doctor has ever been implicated or suspended for conspiring to cover up PED use by players when they knew full well a problem was brewing in each and every major league clubhouse. Commissioner Selig has somehow remained unscathed throughout this tortuous mess by publicly living in denial and acting surprised of various reports which surfaced well before and after 2003.
PED's have completely tainted baseball records from the 1990's thru today. Remember how baseball came alive when McGwire and Sammy Sosa were chasing Roger Maris' single season home run record? Now proven to be a sham. Remember Barry Bonds breaking McGwire's record soon thereafter? A sham! Bonds then breaking Hank Aaron's all time home run record? A sham! The list of stars who were juicing and climbing up baseball's record books forever tarnished previous accomplishments by non-cheating players. Remember how Bud Selig proudly testified how "... baseball has been setting record revenues..." A sham! The bottom line was for as long as players were knocking the ball out of stadiums, re-writing records, striking out hitters etc... fans packed stadiums, television contracts exploded and owners profited. Greed played a very instrumental part of MLB baseball executives turning a blind eye to a well known problem which invaded the sport and to which they contributed.
Nowadays players names are slowly leaking out by an individual who managed to get their hands on 2003's anonymous testing results. Current players will take their lumps bur not for long. Steroids never fully investigated story will not go away any time soon. I remain miffed at how sports reporters nationwide have yet to call for Selig's head on a platter for allowing PED's to run rapid throughout MLB. This owner turned commissioner has rarely been an independent impartial figure. He's a joke in a world where cronyism prevails in sports and politics. If the owners had nothing to hide, then Selig would have been canned a long time ago. It's time for him to either step aside or be forcibly removed.
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