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.
Similar Independent Sources posts:
- Five Strikes and You’re Out!: 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 bei ...
- It’s Official: MLB Players Still Don’t Get Steroids Issue: Back in March Independent Sources commented on Major League Baseball's consistent unwillingness to tackle steroid abuse in "5 Strikes and You're Out!" ...
- Breasts Loom Large in Congressional Steriods Inquiry: Brian McNamee, the star witness in the Congressional inquiry on steroids in baseball, related the story of Mrs. Roger Clemens showing Mrs. Jose Canse ...
- Jammy: Is Major League Baseball a Criminal Enterprise?: The Jammy, a frequent commenter to Independent Sources, is reporting that Barry "Bond's lawyers plan to use California's Unfair Competition Law, Busin ...
- There is something very wrong in the world when…: "The harshest penalty in the BALCO steroid case may to the the reporters who broke the story." Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada of the San Francis ...