I stopped following baseball when they went to interleague play. I am one of those old school guys who thinks the only two times the American and National Leagues should meet are during the All-Star Game and The World Series. To me, any other meetings are meaningless in the grand scheme of things. To the Major League Baseball people, it’s all about increased attendance. They are doing what is right for their bottom line and I am doing what it right to free up some of my free time. It is a fair trade in my book.
Since I haven’t been following baseball closely (or even loosely) since the mid 90s, I really wasn’t paying attention to the Steroid scandals of a few years ago. Every now and then I will hear a name and it will catch me by surprise a little. (Have you heard about Roger Clemens? That one threw me.)
I decided to watch the 2001 Home Run Derby on MLB Network (HD of course) and since I wasn’t too sure who some of them were, I looked them up on Google. I was surprised by the fates of the participants:
Todd Helton – In 2005, a radio broadcaster named Wayne Hagin said manager Don Baylor said he thought Helton used steroids in the 90s, but later walked those comments back and said he was talking about “supplements, creatine, not steroids”. Helton has denied any steroid use.
Jason Giambi – In 2004, he admitted taking steroids to a grand jury who was investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO).
Sammy Sosa – In 2003, he tested positive for steroids in 2003.
Troy Glaus – He is reported to have used steroids in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Luis Gonzales – There were rumors of steroid use, but as far as I know, they were all unsubstantiated.
Bret Boone – In Jose Canseco’s book ‘Juiced’, he implied that he took steroids.
Barry Bonds – In 2007, he was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice for testifying he never knowingly took steroids during the BALCO trial.
Alex Rodriguez – In February 2009, he admitted to using steroids from 2001 to 2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers.
I didn’t even bother seeing who won the derby because since then, most of these guys have done harm to the game and I really don’t feel the need to see them at the height of their “abilities” and turned it off.