Steroids – Yankees, NFL, Red Sox, etc.

Feb 19, 2008


The Roger Clemens-Brian McNamee-Andy Pettitte circus has certainly got a lot of play in recent weeks, but there is a bigger picture.  Just how rampant was the steroid use for the Yankees.  Besides the aforementioned Clemens and Pettitte, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Chuck Knoblauch, Mike Stanton, Darren Holmes, Jason Grimsley, Dan Naulty, David Justice, Jose Canseco, Glenallen Hill, Rondell White, Kevin Brown, Matt Lawton, and Denny Neagle were named in the Mitchell report.  In all 20 current and former Yankees were named.  That’s quite a collection of cheaters.

It’s hard to compare MLB to the NFL, especially when you just know that steroid use in the NFL is far more severe than in baseball, but the Yankees are the equivalent of the Cincinnati Bengals.  Think about all of the arrests and suspensions “Sin”cinnati racked up.  They became a laughing stock of the league.  They helped bring about the new law of the land that Roger Goodell is trying to implement.  Yet the Yankees aren’t asked to bear that same cross.  Perhaps because they all came at once, or the fact that dozens of other players were named, or that no arrests were made, has aided the Yankees here.   It just puzzles me is all.


Another thing that puzzles me is the way Shawn Merriman skated following his suspension.  Here is a past post from my Sporting News blog:  “When I read about “Lights Out” I got a strange feeling about him. It seemed unnatural the way he went at it full steam all the time. Who knows how long Merriman used steroids, but what gets me is the little reaction. Shawne Merrim*n is one of the best young defensive players in the NFL. In baseball terms, he’s like a David Wright or Ryan Howard. Can you imagine the hoopla that Wright or Howard would receive if they got caught using steroids and subsequently suspended a quarter of the season? The attention would be almost what MeO receives on a weekly basis. The Chargers are trying to keep up with Sinsinnati with arrests and suspension. Certainly Steve Foley, Terrence Kiel, and now Merrim*n are doing there part. I just ask, where’s the outrage? When Palmier* got busted, there was a heck of a lot more attention than this is getting. Why the double standard? Someone please enlighten me.”  Shawn Merriman made the Pro Bowl that year.  Do you think Howard or Wright would make the All-Star team if they were suspended for steroids?  Rodney Harrison, who is already a villian in this league, received little negative press following his HGH suspension.  What gives?  Heck, the league is tougher on their coaches (Wade Wilson) than their players.

To bring it full circle, I go back to baseball and my beloved Boston Red Sox.  I find it a little odd that George Mitchell, who has ties to the Red Sox, failed to find any matches to Red Sox players while they were in Boston.  Sure, Roger Clemens was mentioned, but it began while he was on the Blue Jays.  Same with Mo Vaughn (Mets).  The rest (Eric Gagne, Brendan Donnelly, Steve Woodard, Jose Canseco, Manny Alexander, Paxton Crawford, Jeremy Giambi, Josias Manzanillo, Chris Donnels, Mike Lansing, Kent Mercker, and Mike Stanton) were mainly relievers that they brought in from other organizations.  I’m not saying Boston is full of juicers, but I just find it a little odd that they didn’t find anyone.

You can ask a million questions about the steroids issue and never come away satisified with the answers.  All you get is tired.  That’s what I am when it comes to this issue.  Tired.  The good news is soon we’ll be able to talk about what we love about baseball….the game. 

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI

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5 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Luis
    February 19th, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    While some of those big names Clemens, Pettite, Knoblauch all seem like they definitely took steroids during their Yankee careers let’s not throw the whole squad under the bus… Canseco played half a season with the Yanks… Glenallen Hill about 80 games as well… Naulty stopped using when he signed with the Yanks (he made th emajors with the Twins, and if you listen to his account he used in AA and AAA and his seasons with the Twins before coming to the Yanks) and barely played half a season… Kevin Brown, one and a half injury plagued seasons at the end of his career. So while yes, all those names did appear in Yankee uniforms, I think everyone is quick to paint the Yankees (as usual) as the black hatted bad guy. Steroids were rampant in major league baseball. More far reaching than I think even the Mitchell Report reported. These were just the guys who were caught… how many more used some form of undetectable enhancement. Unfortunately the numbers of this era will forever be tainted. Just as their was the segregation era and the dead ball era, we have the honor of having lived through the steroid era.

  2. Ryan Lester
    February 19th, 2008 at 8:48 am #

    Good points. The problem affected every clubhouse. It will continue to. There is too much money to be made. The chemists will always be ahead of the testers. There’s more money to be made cheating than stopping it.

  3. Campy
    February 19th, 2008 at 4:42 pm #

    to add to the yankee defense a bit… I do generally agree with what you wrote lester, but the other point i haven’t heard anyone mention is that the only 2 trainers they talked to were a yankee trainer and a mets trainer. Both guys forced to testify due an indictment against them for their involvement of distributing steroids, so of course yankees are going to be named, they talked to a Yankee trainer.
    the red sox angle is a good point as well, i had a problem from the get-go with mitchel being the guy. At the end of the day the mitchell report is basically a joke as it proves nothing and muddies the water even more. And honestly, the fact that congress is wasting time talking to baseball pitchers instead of worrying about things like, I don’t know, the war in Iraq, the crumbling economy, the housing crisis, etc, etc is teh biggest joke of all.

  4. Larry Novak
    February 19th, 2008 at 6:08 pm #

    If anyone thinks that only the yankees were users they are nuts.
    What would have happened if they talked to trainers of other teams,
    Also we are not hearing much about the texas Rangers in the 90s when a guy named Bush owned them. (WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THAT GUY?).
    I wonder about alot of players on other teams. I would say that the figure of 50-75% of the players would be accurate.
    But this is an embarresment to the yankees and Fans like me.

  5. Ryan Lester
    February 19th, 2008 at 7:40 pm #

    Campy – great points. I suppose if they interviewed trainers all over the league that crumbled the list would increase ten fold.
    larry – yeah, that rangers team (palmeiro, juan gone, pudge, etc.) was one of the worst.

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