After the release of the Mitchell Report in December 2007, players were still resistant to the reality that they themselves were the biggest victims of their members’ transgressions. But now, the steroid discussion no longer seems to be a philosophical conversation but a personal one. Players now consider PEDs a violation of their personal baseball code, no different from standing in the batter’s box too long after a home run or repeating what was said in the clubhouse. In the past, they had framed the drug conversation as an imposition of public relations pressure placed by grandstanding outsiders — the public, the media, the front office or Congress.
Now, players are demanding an accountability from one another that didn’t exist in previous years. For the first time, players no longer view steroids as a victimless crime. Users aren’t cheating the public as much as they are other players.
“So, let me get this straight,” an American League player said. “Guy uses steroids. He then puts up better numbers than I do. He goes to free agency and gets the years and the money, takes a job I don’t get and now I have to scramble during the winter to find another slot. Then, he gets busted for steroids and we use my union dues for his lawyers, his defense and his appeal? And that makes sense to you? That bulls— is fair?”
[Photo Credit: AP]