People like to talk about how the players all protect their own when it comes to PEDs, but if that was ever the case it isn’t anymore. We’ve seen a few examples recently of players calling out their PED-using colleagues. Today there are two high profile examples. Adam Dunn and David Wright.
Dunn, while noting that people will always try to cheat, both in baseball and other walks of life, tells CSNChicago.com that taking PEDs is “stupid,” “selfish” and “scary.” He’s most upset, though, about the cloud it casts on everyone:
“What makes me mad is when you go back and look at your career, everyone is always going to lump all of us into the PED steroid era. That’s not fair. That’s not fair to guys like [Ken Griffey] Junior who did it the right way for a long, long time. I’m not saying he’ll get lumped into it, but he played in that era and that’s not fair to those guys who did it the right way and were very, very successful, and to have a few guys ruin it.”
He’s right. It’s not fair. And I think the reason it’s done is because the idea that there are some people who cheat and some people who don’t and that we can’t know who does and who doesn’t is somehow too complex for a lot of baseball writers to handle. Guys who are in the business of declaring this or that the best or worst thing ever can’t abide something with that level of dissonance or ambiguity, so they have to take that extra step and consider an entire generation tainted, when (a) there is absolutely nothing compelling them to do so; and (b) doing so is exceedingly unfair to those who did not and do not use.
“If you cheat, I hope you get caught,” David Wright told the Daily News. “I don’t care if you’re with the same agency I’m with or not. If you’re a cheater, I hope you get caught, and I hope you get punished.”
I’m often called a PED apologist, but I don’t disagree at all with Wright. My issue comes when people talk smack about people who were not “caught” under any reasonable or reliable definition of that term, have not and maybe will not be punished and who are still nonetheless called cheaters.
We have a testing system. We either trust it or we don’t. I say we need to trust it or else it has no purpose.