Tuesday, February 12, 2008

McNamee, Clemens, and Roids. Oh My!

I have never been a huge fan of Roger Clemens. I loathed him when he was on the Sox. I hated him when he was with the Jays. I tolerate him with the Yankees. Two notations to the last. First, I thought the bat throwing episode with Piazza was classless. Second, I was very vocal last season in my view that the Yanks were the stupidest team in the MLB for signing him again. Each win he produced cost them just over $5 million.

And now, after all this, what do I think?

The same thing I think about Barry Bonds. He’s a no good cheater who shamed himself, his teams, his teammates, and the game. Kick his ass out. I realize he’s not been found guilty yet. I don’t care. If he’s proven innocent, then I’ll despise him a little less.

But here’s the thing. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds are just two players. Granted, they are arguably the best players, but they are still just two. How many others have used steroids and/or HGH to try to gain a couple percentage points on their average or a couple of miles per hour on their fastball? If you believe the Mitchell Report, it’s not a widespread problem.

I disagree.

I think the steroid/HGH problem in Major League Baseball reaches into every dugout, every bench, and every bullpen. And while there are some players who’ve never tried the stuff, I say that up until last year, the majority of baseball players, had testing been mandatory, would have tested positive.

Remember one key thing; the so called random drug testing procedure currently used by MLB includes notifying the player up to 48 hours in advance. Surely no one would take measures to cover up their drug use with 2 days notice, would they?

The entire thing makes me sick.

But still, the press only focuses on Bonds and Clemens. Why just the two? Why is no one trying to find out how deep the issue goes? If you think about it, you wouldn’t even have to get players to confess or snitch on their teammates.

Instead of looking at player stats on the field, why doesn’t someone look at player stats off the field? When a player goes on the DL, the quicker he gets back into the lineup, the better off the team is. Surely, with the increased use of HGH, the average amount of time that players spend on the DL for certain types of injuries must be decreasing at a statistically significant level.

If anyone knows of a study like this, I’d love to hear about it.