Steroid reports tiring but necessary

TED WYMAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

I saw a Sun Media web poll the other day in which 80% of respondents indicated they are tired of hearing about steroids in baseball.

Does that mean we should just stop reporting it when star after star falls into the bottomless pit created by the steroids scandal?

Essentially, if you don't want to hear about it anymore, there is only one other solution and that's to sweep it all under the Field Turf.

This is a story that can't and won't go away until baseball proves itself to be a game played by clean athletes.

That is a tall order. We're talking Randy Johnson tall.

Nearly all of the biggest stars of a generation have been linked to the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Home run kings, stud pitchers, World Series champions -- names synonymous with baseball greatness like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and David Ortiz just to provide a tiny sample.

It has reached the point where people are tired of hearing about new reports of cheating by normally revered athletes simply because they come out so frequently.

Perhaps people are even starting the accept the notion that a huge percentage of baseball stars deserve to be painted with the same brush that has tainted the Hall of Fame careers of Bonds, Clemens and McGwire. If everyone was doing it, that somehow makes it less of a slight against the history of baseball.

Players are finding it easier and easier to move on after having their names linked to the use of PEDs.

A-Rod went on TV and confessed before his steroid use could be outed in a tell-all book.

Ramirez simply took his punishment -- a 50-game suspension -- and is now back slugging for the Dodgers.

With a weary public seemingly softening its collective stance against the whole steroid issue, the plans of attack by A-Rod and Man-Ram seem appropriate and likely to induce forgiveness from the fans.

Meanwhile, Bonds and Clemens are fighting all the way to the highest courts to preserve their good names when few people believe them to be innocent.

Their odds of being forgiven by fans or Hall of Fame voters are slim.

The bottom line is, only when the true enormity of the steroid craze comes to light can the baseball world make a decision on who gets forgiven and who doesn't. To me, it's either everyone or no one.

For that to happen, the sports world needs first to know the names of all 103 athletes who tested positive along with Ortiz and Rodriguez in 2003. And it needs to know each and every time when another player is linked to the massive scandal.

All that means, tired or not, we as sports fans have to keep hearing about this for a good while longer.

FOOTBALL FOLLIES: Believe it or not the four-team United Football League is scheduled to begin its six-game schedule on Oct. 8. This despite the fact that the teams -- the California Redwoods, Florida Tuskers, New York Sentinels and Las Vegas Locomotives -- have only just unveiled their nicknames and don't have any players (actually, the entire league has signed 19 players). Michael Huyghue, the league's commissioner, recently declared that the UFL is "different from other failed leagues," prompting Deadspin.com's Dashiell Bennett to respond: "In that it hasn't failed yet? ... Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino was nailed with a full cup of beer while making a catch at Wrigley Field Wednesday night. The so-called "beer shower" is a rarity around Wrigley Field. In fact, the locals can't recall any players getting doused with beer, champagne or any other carbonated beverage since, oh, say 1908.


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