I'll be seen as singling out one player here, but: Roger Clemens had a fabulous career at Boston. In 1996, still a very good pitcher, he was no longer an overpowering star. Dan Duquette, who let Clemens go from the Red Sox, is famously and derisively remembered for saying Roger was in the "twilight of his career."
Of course, we all know that Roger Clemens went to Toronto and became the second coming of Cy Young. The Yankees and Astros then benefited from this for some years afterwards, most of his best work coming when Brian McNamee was his strength coach. Work ethic? Revenge motive? How did he defy the curve of declining skills, which he was already sliding down, for so long? Now we know.
Join the club, Roger. Your friends are all waiting. Some of them we knew about, some are surprises to me. Andy Pettite. Miguel Tejada. Sammy Sosa. Eric Gagne - I cannot tell you how sad I am to read that name. Barry Bonds. Chuck Knoblauch. Mark McGwire. Rafael Palmeiro. Jason Giambi. Jeremy Giambi. Jose Canseco. Juan Gonzalez. Todd Pratt. Kevin Young. Todd Hundley. Mike Lansing. Kevin Brown. Mike Stanton. Kent Mercker. Jerry Hairston, Jr. Paul Lo Duca. Matt Herges. Rick Ankiel. Paul Byrd. Jay Gibbons. Troy Glaus. Jason Grimsley. Jose Guillen. Gary Matthews, Jr. Ron Villone. John Rocker. Scott Schoeneweis. Ismael Valdez. Matt Williams. Denny Neagle. David Justice. Gary Sheffield. Ricky Bones. David Segui. Alex Cabrera. Mo Vaughan. Glenallen Hill. Rondell White. Matt Franco. Brian Roberts. Randy Velarde. Benito Santiago. Jack Cust. Lenny Dykstra. Gregg Zaun. The list goes on. And on. And on. And we can be very sure it's just the tip of the iceberg.
And once more, to state the obvious: even in the time when Major League Baseball's policy did not expressly prohibit steroids or human growth hormone, U.S. law certainly did. If a player broke the law in some other way- assaulting an opponent, stealing equipment, breaking into a locker room- we would rightly label him a cheat. Even though baseball likely has no rule expressly prohibiting the shooting of another player, or the placement of a poisonous snake in his locker. So let's have no apologia. And let's all hope A-Rod is clean.
Baseball is rotten to the core. And I'm sick to my stomach.
At least the Gothams are in the clear. Alcohol isn't banned, is it?