Thursday, March 20, 2008

Here's why PED remains a concern

Outsiders, like me, continually wonder why the "clean" players won't stand up to the "dirty" players. Why can't they scream from the mountaintops? It'd be awfully pollyanna-ish to just leave it at that. I know the teams want to win and all players are needed to get a team to the title. However, by keeping quiet, the clean players are just making it easier for the dirty players to remain dirty.

Why? Because there's a "code" amongst theives and ballplayers that says you don't rat out your own. I get it, sorta. There are ways to alert officials that there's something illegal going on without actually ratting out a peer. And it takes a pretty darn strong person to rat out a teammate. But don't these players have to be pretty darn strong, mentally AND physically, just to get to the Bigs?

There's a story out today about the exile of Larry Bigbie that's worth reading.

Bigbie broke the code. In baseball, the honor of the clubhouse, of keeping secrets no matter how deep, dark and dirty, is sacrosanct, and when the former Sen. George Mitchell released his report on the rampant performance-enhancing drug use in baseball, there was Bigbie, not only admitting using them but naming names of teammates who did, too.

That’s not how it went,” Bigbie says. “That’s not how it went at all. But right there, I was done. My name – done.”
In news reports, Bigbie was placed alongside Brian McNamee and Kirk Radomski as Mitchell’s informants. He stewed. He had talked, yeah, but says he brought up neither Roberts’ nor Cust’s name and only confirmed information with which Mitchell’s investigators confronted him.

They had everything,” he says. “They knew. It wasn’t like I had to sit there and spit names to them.

Then there's this comment by the author which I think is pretty good (emphasis mine):
No one close to Bigbie knew that he had used steroids first, then human growth hormone, not even his girlfriend, who at the time was pregnant. Bigbie started to rationalize: He had a family and life beyond baseball, and he refused to give it up for a misguided omertà.

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