Steroids and Sportswriters

Disclaimer: I have no footnotes to prove my ideas.  If I was a full time sports writer I would have the chance to do the research to back up what I am writing.  Since I don't you will have to take my word on it.  If you have any proof to say I am wrong, share it with me and I will update this post.

I heard a sports writer on the radio say now with the Clemons verdict, you have to question the whole Mitchell Report.  The premise is the court undermines the whole report.  There were two main trainers in the report Kirk Radomski and Brian McNamee.  If the court could not use McNamee to convict Clemons, the report is not trustworthy.  I heard this and I just turned off the radio. 

There are a bunch of reasons this is a faulty idea.  The first is that Kirk Radomski was a much bigger source.  Check out the list of players in the report.  Of the 87 players listed only 6 have anything to do with McNamee.  Even if McManee is totally wrong, it is only a small number connected to him.

The second reason it a basic idea of the legal system.  A court never finds anyone innocent, they only find you not guilty.  To be found guilty by a court of law, it has to be Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.  This is a great system to protect people from abusive prosecutors.  It makes it a little harder when it comes to cases like this.   

I think the problem sports writers has with Steroids is that it gets in the way of the narrative they try to tell.  It is something that gets in the way of conversations like Who's the Greatest of All Time, Lets Rank These Games, and Lets Compare These Two Guys.  They don't want to think about the real world when working in the toy store of life.  Maybe they don't want to think about how much lead is in those toys. 

Here are a list of tropes about steroids and PEDs that I want to hear go away.

  • Fans don't care about steroids. I'm a fan, and I care.  That disproves you right there
  • This guy did not look like a steroid user. It's not the 80's and PEDs have come a long way.
  • This guy worked hard, he would not take a short cut, It was the hardest working guys who want an edge.  No one ever took a PED to skip a workout. They took PEDs so they could work harder.
  • If everyone else was doing it, the guys who did it were not wrong. Not everyone took PEDs. This means there were guys who did not perform to the level of other guys who took PEDs.  Players missed the All-Star Game, did not become starters, did not make it out of the minors.  These are the guys I feel sorry for.  It is because of these guys I care about steroids.   
To all the sports writers who do not care about PEDs, it makes me respect you a little less.  If you act like it is no big deal or that on one cares, you are just projecting yourself on the sports fans.  This makes you a worse sports writer. 


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