The Baseball Media: “Misremembering” PED use

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

By: Eduardo Perez

Mark McGwire the latest baseball player to come forward and admit using PEDs caused the usual reaction from baseball scribes. You know who I’m talking about, the Bill Maddens, Ken Rosenthals, Mike Lupicas, of the world amongst a cast of thousands who inevitably wrote, “Player X didn’t come clean”. “He’s a cheat and a liar”. “He doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame”, “He needs to apologize the right way”, etc… However, what these moralistic writers won’t tell you is that they turned a blind eye to PED use as they applauded and extolled the virtues of McGwire, Sosa and Bonds. Publicly, writers have been aware of PEDs since October 1988, when Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post wrote the following about Jose Conseco, “the most conspicuous example of a player who has made himself great with steroids”. Did this create a huge media firestorm, as previously seen with McGwire or ARod? Nope. How about after the strike of 1994? In July ’95 Bob Nightengale’s story included a quote from then Padres GM Randy Smith saying, “we all know there’s steroid use, and it is definitely becoming more prevalent.” In that same article Nightengale quotes Tony Gwynn stating: “It’s like the big secret we’re not supposed to talk about”. Where was the media outrage back then? Where were all the holier than thou baseball columnists spewing and hand wringing for drug testing?! What were all the hard-hitting investigative reporters doing besides sticking their collective heads in the sand? That’s right…nothing.

The media now want us to believe they are outraged, that they are the moral police in place to ensure the game is “clean” and that the “truth be set free”. But they don’t really want that. They knew all along players were getting bigger, faster, were hitting the ball farther, throwing it harder, but looked the other way for 15+ years. Hypocrisy reigns supreme. They will keep Hall of Fame worthy players out of the Hall because they “cheated” the game. But didn’t the same writers cheat the game they cover and make a living from by not reporting what they knew and saw was happening? Remember, in August of 1998 when McGwire and Sosa were locked in their chase for 62 and androstenedione was discovered in McGwire’s locker? The media quickly dismissed it as a nutritional supplement as they waived their pom-poms and watched the TV ratings and revenues roll in. So next time the media laments how “sad” they are or how “bad” this is for the game and “the kids”…remember they played as big a part as anyone in creating the situation they now condemn. When the first baseball columnist comes “clean” telling us how he/she cheated the fans and the game by concealing what they saw everyday in the clubhouse, I’ll be all ears. Until then excuse me as I attempt to block out all the white noise from the media that similar to Clemens in front of Congress “misremembers” what they know about PED usage. follow Eddie on Twitter, click here, here or there, which is now here....


Eli From Brooklyn said...

Bravo once again, Mr. Perez for expressing the thoughts people only think they're thinking in the crevices on the back side of their brain.

metsfanmurph said...

Lupica is one of the biggest phonies about steroids because he wrote a book about the "magical" 98 HR chase.