I've never been a big fan of Roger Clemens. I'm a Met fan, a devout Yankee hater and lover of all things National League. Sure I can respect Clemens' accomplishments on the mound but to me he'll never reach the level of Seaver, Aaron or Mays – some of my all time favorite players. But I now find myself in the position of defending him over his alleged steroid use.
One morning recently, I was riding up the elevator at my "real job" and started talking to two of the "building dudes" about steroid use in baseball. They were adamant about the fact that rumored use of performance enhancing substances by Clemens and Barry Bonds made them cheaters. It tainted the game. Drugs are bad..mmmkay?
I countered with two points before I reached my floor — drug use during the time Major League Baseball had no rule against them was just fine and should never, ever be questioned. And the second – Babe Ruth played the game on performance enhancing substances too: beer and big fat juicy steaks. Okay, maybe that one didn't go over so well. Didn't even get a chuckle and voila it was my stop.
Steroid use in baseball is a big "who cares" for me. No one gets upset if their favorite club DJ is hopped up on Red Bull and vodka to get the party going. Wilt Chamberlain was addicted to sex but that didn't stop him from becoming one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game. And unless you're performing surgery on me or driving me somewhere I really don't care what junk you're ingesting.
And there should never be a reason why CONGRESS NEEDS TO HAVE HEARINGS ABOUT THIS. EVER. If MLB wants to outlaw steroids, fine. Since its agreement with players in 2002 the league has been randomly testing them for drug use. As with any employer who tests for drugs MLB should make the rules clear – do drugs and you're out starting TODAY. And that's that. Whatever you believe about this issue one thing is crystal clear – the U.S. goverment should have better things to do than to investigate grown men who play a game for a living.
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