I posted about this on multiple social media outlets already, but I’d like to expand upon it a little: The predictable inclination of former players sanctimoniously chiding PED users after a prominent player tests positive for PEDs, is a show that I hate with the intensity of a thousand white hot suns.
In the past we’ve heard Dustin Pedroia and Mark Teixeira piously deride those who’ve used PEDs. You remember Dustin and Mark – they both have World Series rings that they won, due in part, to the enormous contributions of David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano, among others. Dustin and Mark were so offended by the actions of their teammates they returned their championship rings to their respective teams and vowed never to play with a PED user again.
Just kidding, no they didn’t – they did the brave thing and looked for a TV camera toward which they could preach their righteous morality.
Enter Michael Young, a long-time favorite of mine (sincerely). Because up until yesterday, he’s always been an intelligent voice of reason on all matters baseball. Yesterday Michael Young posted a message to the “kids” out there (I already have my finger in my throat) about how they shouldn’t use steroids because they’ll appreciate the honest path instead of “phony success”.
Speaking of phonies…
(Quick Google search to confirm…) Yes – I was right. Young was, in fact, a teammate of Alex Rodriguez, Ivan Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, David Segui, Sammy Sosa, and won an AL Pennant with Nelson Cruz. The pennant, I’m assuming is now phony to Michael.
Don’t misunderstand: This is not a value judgment on those who use PEDs. I’ll stop short of saying I don’t care who uses and who doesn’t, but it’s not on the list of things I’m going to get my sliding shorts in a bunch over. As I’ve said before, there are folks in the Hall of Fame who’ve committed far worse transgressions against what we consider normative behavior.
And I certainly understand if a player doesn’t want to make an issue of his teammates using when they’re active and playing together. That’s a tough spot in which to be, and I wouldn’t criticize how a player addressed it (or didn’t) having never walked in those shoes myself.
But to publicly, and not too courageously I might add, make a pearl clutching value judgment after the fact, rings a little hollow – which frankly is understating it a little bit. You were in a position to make a serious change to this aspect of the game at one point and you chose not to. Now, I’m thinking the advice I always received from my mother is the best play here: If you don’t have anything nice to say, then shut the hell up.
Did I miss something? Let me know.
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