Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Jose Canseco is the Only Honest Man

After hearing the latest news on Rafael Palmeiro I am now convinced that baseball has a problem. I am not distinguishing between the MLB and amatuer baseball. I am purposely naming baseball, but for this op-ed I'll focus on the majors exclusively.

Palmeiro seemed to be the guy that was accused but certainly couldn't have abused. He was the purest hitter in the congressional hearing, and the only player to be capable of playing defense and hitting for average. Palmeiro's body has changed but like most twenty somethings he has matured into a heavier thirty something. Palmeiro though did something different, he stated that he never used. He may not have prior to the hearings, but why take now? Why join a commitee for steriods in pro athletics, as an expert?

I was Palmeiro's greatest supporter prior to today. As many as five years ago I argued for his Hall placement, and he deserved it. But now you must question his results. I think this finding as well as the fact that his body doesn't show the typical steroid abuses will be the downfall of Barry Bonds and the further scrutiny of "typical" powerhitters.

What I mean by Bonds downfall is his possible fear of testing, and his persona cloaked in intrigue. No one can succeed in those circumstances. He will not return.

Further scrutiny of powerhitters, what does this mean for Albert Puljos, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero, Todd Helton, Miguel Tejada? None of these guys look like Frank Thomas, or Mark McGwire. All of them are Palmeiro's size or smaller. All are natural hitters with exceptional power. None are over 32 years old. Are they using, I would say no. People have known who these guys were since they were kids, and we've watched them grow to men. Their bodies have changed, but that's what good nutrition, age and working out will do for you. Do they use?

You have to wonder, you have to now because if a guy with a swing like Rafael, and a body like Rafael is a user of hard core roids, then everyone is a susupect, and that simply is why baseball is in trouble.

Can it survive, sure. It needs more and full disclosure. Things get worse before they get better. So lets get dirty and save our game.


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