Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Sports, Steroids

The big news coming out of Baltimore should not be that Rafael Palmeiro was nailed for using steroids, but that despite all of the anti-steroid testing and precautions a top-flight player felt comfortable enough with the system to keep taking an illegal supplement.

At the start of the 2005 baseball season Palmeiro needed about 80 hits reach the magic 3,000 number. Now 80 hits for a player of Palmeiro's ability, on or off steroids, would be an easy mark to hit. He must have known that he would have reached the milestone at some point during the season even if he gave up the steroids and his ability shrunk along with his inflated musclature. But Palmeiro was confident enough that he would easily slip through Bud Selig's system of testing.

What other explanation could there be beside massive, brain crunching stupidity for continuing to inject yourself with a banned substance. Could Raffy be the dumbest baseball player since John Rocker? Absolutely. For the majority of his career he has stayed out of the spotlight, hardly speaking to reporters or doing antying outlandish so the public really has not had a chance to learn all there is to know about Palmeiro.

However, I doubt he is that dumb. In fact I think he is quite smart, just not as smart as he needed to be to get away with his steroid usage. However, he was bright enough to weigh all the factors involved with cheating and what it might do to his career and hall of fame chances. He considered it all and took what he thought would be a good bet.

If this is true then Selig and the rest of Major League Baseball's heirarchy should be shaking in their shoes. If Palmeiro took this chance then I'm sure other high-profile stars are doing the same thing.


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