When Ryan Braun got cracked for a positive PED test in 2011, it snapped me back to reality in a hurry. Even if baseball’s drug testing had cleaned things up in comparison to the raging steroid era, PED’s were still in use. Prominent players were still taking performance enhancing drugs. My favorite player could still be the one to pop up with a positive test.
The reason I mention Braun is because he seemed like the face of the new “clean” generation of stars. In my mind, that group also included Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. Yes, Braun was ultimately cleared on a technicality so we do not know what happened for sure. Even still, it was a reality check.
When I heard that several players were linked to PED use at a Miami Clinic, I went through the following series of reactions. First, I laughed out loud (LOLed, if you will) at what a joke Alex Rodriguez is. I should care more about the fact that another player with historically great statistics is dirty. At one point with ARod, I did care and I did hope that he was clean. But now, I just laugh. What else can you do? It stopped being worth it to get mad a long time ago.
Also, how about Bartolo Colon? I don’t feel like he was ever fooling anybody, right?
Finally, I reacted to the two surprise names who allegedly are connected to the clinic: Gio Gonzalez and Nelson Cruz. To be fair, neither has failed a drug test; there is a chance that either or both of them will eventually have their name (s) cleared (ish) like Braun did. But for now, that dark and ugly PED cloud looms over their 2013 season.
I imagine the sadness for a Rangers fan who adores Cruz or a Nats fan who has his Gonzalez jersey ready for Opening Day. Even if there is a chance that these two will be cleared eventually, it stinks for them and their fans in the meantime.
When I heard there were other players besides ARod who were connected to the Miami clinic, I selfishly thought, “Please no Rockies, please no Rockies.” Once I realized we were in the clear, I thought, “Thank goodness Camp Tulo is in Vegas. No PED links for my team!”
For now, at least…