There has always been a broad suspicion about steroids that seemed to exceed the actual data available about steroid use. Not necessarily an unwarranted suspicion. We don’t know who did what, it’s reasonable to assume that more players used than were ever caught and thus a lot of that broad suspicion was probably reasonable too. It became problematic when people would level unfounded accusations against specific players, but the idea that “a whole lot more people than we know of were using” is hard to dispute.
As a result, the idea that there has been some sort of steroid McCarthyism is unfair. Yes, some people have engaged in guilt-by-association, especially when accusing specific players based only on their teammates or country of origin, but most people who have voiced concern about steroids have, at the worst, offered some overly-broad generalizations and have drawn what I feel to be overly-pessimistic conclusions.
But Jim Rich of the New York Daily News has decided to go full-McCarthy on Joe Girardi and Terry Francona: they’re “frauds” and “hypocrites” and “jokes” for not condemning Yankees and Red Sox players who used PEDs or speculating on the Biogenesis stuff. This is offensive to Rich because Girardi and Francona “stood shoulder to shoulder with steroid cheats.” He winds up:
As selfish and infuriating as the two managers’ stances are on the steroid issue, their most egregious hypocrisy lies in the fact that they have managed or played with so many other unnamed cheats, who, in part, were allowed to tarnish the game as a result of their willing blindness.
Francona and Girardi certainly have had plenty of company in allowing this fraud on the game and its fans to exist, but there have been very few who have basked more in its tainted glow.
This is literally condemnation by virtue of association. Rich, like McCarthy, is giving Girardi and Francona a choice between ratting out and/or calling out their colleagues or being considered just as bad as they are.
This is my favorite passage, though:
While Rodriguez was launching 129 of those bombs under Girardi’s watch, the Yankees manager was more than happy to discuss them, presumably because that qualified as baseball talk. But now that every one of A-Rod’s 2,901 career hits (37th most) must be called into question as the result of his second association with steroid use … Girardi feels he’s exempt from the discussion?
If Rich actually believes that Alex Rodriguez possessed no baseball talent that every single one of his hits came by virtue of steroid use it perhaps shouldn’t be surprising that he sees this as such a white or black issue.
People wonder why we can’t have an intelligent discussion about PEDs. It’s because it’s impossible to have an intelligent discussion with extremists peddling this kind of garbage.