With Biogenesis and Alex Rodriguez fresh in everyone's minds, columnists all around the country are jumping on the bandwagon by drumming up the same SEO-driven points over and over again. Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is no different. On Tuesday, Schultz penned a column entitled "Baseball's all-steroid team", featuring (you guessed it), an All-Star team of players that were PED offenders.
But instead of just naming players suspended by baseball, or named in the Mitchell Report, Schultz fell down the slippery slope of also tying people with absolutely no connections to steroids to the offenders. Here's the intro to his column.
All players listed below have either been suspended for drugs; or admitted using them; or were listed on the Mitchell Report; or were fingered by Jose Canseco, another player or a trainer; or obviously took something stronger than Flintstone Chewables but excelled at not leaving a paper trail; or fall under the "I Think He Took Something But Can't Be Certain" category (example: Jeff Bagwell).
Wait a minute. So Schultz is freely admitting he's not certain of the PED status of some of these players, yet his throwing them overboard along with everyone else? That's simply ripe from someone who gives the revered Hank Aaron a pass for his amphetamine use by claiming they "keep you awake and don't make you hit home runs" (which is unbelievably misleading).
If we're just going to go ahead and lob accusations at players that have never tested positive or admitted to taking steroids like Mike Piazza and Jeff Bagwell, we've reached yet another low point in the history of journalism. The "well, he just looks like a user" line of defense that columnists are using to throw anyone they want under the bus is something that really needs to disappear, because it's such an extreme fallacy. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go watch a 320 pound lineman run a 4.9 40, marvel at his athleticism, and stick my head in the sand while raising hell about a player I've never heard of hitting 37 homers in the first half.