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Hall of Fame Hypocrite: Why Rafael Palmeiro Deserves Impeachment

In the Independent Sources article “Five Strikes and You’re Out!“, we wrote:

Since its founding and receiving its special legal status, Major League Baseball has lived in its own little world believing all of the hype about being the national pastime and even having its own anti-trust exemption. The most recent example of baseball’s playing by its own rules is how MLB has handled steroid abuse by its players. It has gotten so out of hand, that the U.S. House of Representatives convened a committee to investigate.

No sport is more driven by statistics and record breaking. Every move a player makes is tracked and recorded and when a long-standing record is threatened fans and media begin a countdown instilling drama into a sport that often lacks it. Because of this, Major League Baseball has every motivation to look the other way on steroid abuse despite the adverse affects it has on the players, the high schoolers emulating them, and (least importantly) the sanctity of the game.

Independent Sources wrote in response to all of the hand-wringing during the Congressional hearings on steroid use. There was one exception to the tip-toeing by the players, which was Rafael Palmeiro’s unequivocal statement:

“Let me start by telling you this. I have never used steroids. Period. I do not know how to say it any more clearly than that. Never.” 

He emphasized these words by glaring at the panel and wagging his finger. It was so direct, so clear, and so to the point that it reminded us at Independent Sources of Bill Clinton’s equally strong statement “I did not had sex with that woman!” It turns out that analogy was accurate on several levels, most importantly, they were both lying. We know this because Rafael has tested positive for steriods in his bloodstream, something that no amount of staring or finger wagging will change. Mr. Rafael’s options are down to coming clean or coming up with a new lie. Unfortunately for all concerned, he’s chosen option #2, a path surely to dig himself a deeper into his deceit.

What’s his new lie? That he never intentionally took steroids meaning a banned substance must have been in one of those mysterious supplements he innocently takes or perhaps in tainted beef. 

To discredit the “I didn’t know” theory we need look no further than Jose Canseco who might be the only person in baseball telling the truth about steroids.

Enter Canseco, who became his Texas Ranger teammate late in the 1992 season. In 1993, Palmeiro jumped from 22 home runs to 37, from 85 RBIs to 105. Canseco has claimed this was no coincidence, that Palmeiro transformed himself into a power hitter after Canseco introduced him to steroids.

From 1995 through 2003, an era now being scrutinized because of its institutional lack of steroid control, Palmeiro had his nine greatest home-run seasons, averaging 41.4 home runs after turning 30 in late 1994 — until baseball began testing for steroids in 2004. Palmeiro’s home run total dropped from 38 in 2003 to 23 in 2004.

One has to admit that it’s a pretty compelling story and one that is backed up by facts.

Update Palmeiro reportedly tested positive for stanolozol, the steroid associated with sprinter Ben Johnson. Furthermore, the likelihood of sabotage with this drug is said to be ‘remote.’  It is also not available in over-the-counter supplements. In his book “Juiced,” Jose Canseco wrote that Palmeiro had used this drug when the two played together with the Texas Rangers. (Chalk another one up for Canseco).

Update:  Congress will investigate whether Palmeiro perjured himself when he told a House committee that he hadn’t taken steroids.

Finally: H/T to Begging to Differ for reminding us that for every famous person that screws up, there is an endless list of people making excuses for them. Some writers had initially said they’d still vote for Palmeiro for inclusion into the Hall of Fame.

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6 Responses to “Hall of Fame Hypocrite: Why Rafael Palmeiro Deserves Impeachment”

  1. 1
    Donnie Moore Says:

    “…a pretty compelling story.” Not to me. Everything about baseball is boring, including its scandals. Wake me up when Palmeiro brandishes a handgun or rapes a chambermaid. Also, high school players don’t need steriods; they’ve already bastardized the game with high-energy aluminum bats. The whole sport blows. I’d rather have my kid play tuba in the band then go out for baseball.

    p.s. Just saw Palmeiro’s picture. He’s gay, right? Any chance he got the stanolozol in his system when he went down on Ben Johnson? I think if he swallowed we have reasonable doubt, or as Johnny Cochran would say: “If he didn’t spit, you must acquit”.

  2. 2
    The Stevo in H-Town Says:

    …The real point is that IF you ARE a true baseball fan and the records, or Hall of Fame entry iz allowed for steroid offenders, there’s no question that the “sanctity” of the game is forever tarnished. As “I.S.” said,”No sport is more driven by statistics and record breaking”…Simply put: The true baseball fan (of which I’m one), regards these numbers as “hallowed”, if you will…..61 and 714 or 755 are the real deal….the other fuckers cheated and if you use their bank accounts as a barometer, then you can quit teachin’ yer kids that “cheaters never win”….When it’s all said and done in THIS world…”It IS about the dollah.”

  3. 3
    Insider Says:

    I’ve always enjoyed professional sports despite the athletes. This has gotten progressively harder over the years. There was a day when if a player stood in front of Congress and wagged his finger making a bold statement under oath that turned out to be a complete lie, that this ball player would be forever shammed, booed, etc. Nowadays, it will likely blow over. What a crock. And I thought things were bad when $1 million salaried players called their contracts “modern day slavery.” Heck, those were the golden years compared to today’s professional clowns.

  4. 4
    The Stevo in H-Town Says:

    “I’ve always enjoyed professional sports despite the athletes. This has gotten progressively harder over the years.” I understand and you validate my point, ie., It’s the history and the stats that keep us watching. Seeing someone surpass or witnessing a new milestone in sport is a HUGE part of the engine that drives the fans to the parks and TV sets…The Mcguire/Sosa chase of Maris’ hallowed 61* in ‘98 was surreal and much like a dream. Even if you weren’t a fan you couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the drama. Unfortunately, much like a great dream…You wake up and are pissed that it wasn’t real…..

  5. 5
    Insider Says:

    Listening to Jim Rome right after the 98 season I was pretty convinced that Sosa was on the juice. I didn’t know about McGuire until a little later. Now it’s clear tha they both were and in fact any of today’s players who miraclously get better 10 years into their careers are suspect. How you can be a singles hitter in your twenties and then a power hitter in your middle 30s. Yeah right.

  6. 6
    Begging to Differ - August 2005 Archives Says:

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