Today, I watched David Ortiz's press conference about reports that he is on the list of 104 people that tested positive for steroids in 2003. Ortiz claimed that while he was at times wreckless in taking different supplements and vitamins, that he never purchased or took steroids. Part of me wants to believe him. As an ESPN analyst noted after the press conference, he seemed genuine in his statement. He did not read his statement, but just spoke. As incoming director of the MLBPA, Michael Weiner (unfortunate last name) noted, the government list exceeded the number of players known to have tested positive (96) and that some of the tests were also contested. Ortiz also noted that since the drug testing policy was implemented in 2004, he had been tested for steroids at least fifteen times and never tested negative.
At the same time, A-Rod and others have claimed to have never used steroids and then reports came out to the contrary. The steroids scandal is obviously unfortunate. Baseball's popularity in the US was waning even before the steroids scandal and will probably continue to decrease. I have fond memories of evens like seeing Mark McGwire hitting one of his 70 home runs in PNC Park in 1998 and still have a great love for the game of baseball. How suspicious shoule we be about baseball players, or of atheletes in general? Discussions of doping in the cycling world increased on sports talk radio and television during the Tour de France. I don't want to be a cynic who doubts that an athelete is clean every time they succeed at something. At the same time, I am greatly upset that Barry Bonds is now the homerun champ given his checkered past. I have great hopes that someone like Albert Pujols will break the record sometime in the next decade or more and bring the universe back to balance.
At the same time, should Barry Bonds be allowed in the Hall of Fame when his eligibility comes up? He was a seven time NL MVP, including two MVP's while in a Pirates' uniform. I haven't made up my mind yet. Any thoughts?