OK. Here's the thing... the people on "the list" from MLB's testing in 2003 tested positive for "substances". Not all the substances that players tested positive for were banned in baseball at that time - I know what you're going to say... "steroids are illegal" - and I will remind you that no, they are not if you have a prescription. Not all testosterone precursors are illegal. And let us not forget that while illicit use of steroids is illegal in the United States and that nearly 50% of MLB players in 2003 were NOT born in the United States - such as one Mr. David Ortiz.
Baseball players and pro athletes in general get surgeries/scopes/procedures ALL THE TIME. Show me a player who has never had some injury and procedure and I'll show you a player who soon will. Steroids and growth hormones definitely speed up recovery times and that's why doctors prescribe them. It's also why athletes use PEDs - to recover from the stress of working out, playing 162 games and getting back to full form quicker. I'm not saying everyone was using them justifiably but there's no telling...
Also, there has been many names besides Ortiz, Ramirez, Rodriguez and Sosa already released from the list including Barry Bonds, David Segui, Jason Grimsley, Adam Piatt and a couple other nobodies. MOST of this list will include nobodies or names that have already been established by the Mitchell Report (which dates back further than 2003 in many references. That's why the "big dog" names are getting released - so "journalists" can drag the game down, drag the individuals down and lift themselves up at the same time... it's scum journalism and it makes me sick but this is the TMZ world in which we live. Regular people devour scandal when it humanizes their "heroes".
Guess what? Athletes are NOT perfect. Given the opportunity to "get away with" something deemed seemingly insignificant at the time ("everyone is doing it"), they cheat. At baseball, on their spouses, on their taxes... on and on. They are JUST LIKE NORMAL CITIZENS. Athletes are invincible in their own minds and don't bother to consider consequences... or as every athlete ever said "It's not going to happen to me."
The media is just as responsible for this fiasco as anyone not named Bud Selig. They glorified these SAME athletes, they created the hunger for more-more-more and saw the changes in their bodies and said very little to stop the madness...
Bud had the opportunity to shut this down back in the early 90's but instead said "Steroids don't help you play baseball" since that's what everyone said since the late 60's when steroids first made their splash in the sporting culture. They were right, steroids don't make you a better player, but they help you get over the nagging pains and give you strength and above all confidence and swagger - these things DO help you play baseball better. Bud also didn't know that HGH does improve your eyesight AND positively affects your hand eye coordination. Ask Barry Bonds.
Bud could have handled the situation again when Jose Canseco babbled on about being "blackballed" by MLB after the MLB-owned Montreal Expos released him and prevented his comeback attempt. Bud scoffed at Canseco and Canseco said "Fine. I'm writing a book and naming names." Bud did nothing.
Then the book came out. Bud scoffed again and dismissed it entirely.
Move on to the Mitchell report December 13, 2007. Bud Selig commissioned a fine investigator to do all this dirty work and to suggest an outline for the future. For all of Bud's unawareness and ignorance that exacerbated the problem, the Mitchell report only cost a sum of $20 million - and damaged the game's reputation perhaps beyond repair. When Senator Mitchell stood at the podium next to Bud Selig and basically told Bud it was his fault baseball was too slow to move on the steroid issue. He then went on to suggest/demand "Let's move on. Let's move to the future and do what's right for the game of baseball."
Bud openly defied that suggestion minutes later. He said that punishment would be made swiftly and that more players would be investigated. Bud took Mitchell's suggestion on how to restore the game and spat upon it. And here we are STILL dealing with this garbage as a result.
The testing done in 2003 is SIX years old! I've had two kids since then. The Red Sox won TWO World Series, the Yankees haven't won in nearly a decade, the Expos have a new name, home and stadium and the Tampa Bay "Devil" Rays don't suck anymore. The World of 2009 is a different place, virtually upside down from the World of 2003.
The testing done in 2003 was single sample, it was done merely to determine if testing was necessary in the future - it was a baseline (answer was a resounding "yes, duhhh", nevertheless). It did not identify the drugs that led to positives (Papi could have simply tested positive for Amphetamines, Coke or Pot!) and was supposed to be anonymous - and was to remain sealed.
Just like Bonds' grand jury testimony, the people who release the names ARE BREAKING THE LAW. If we cannot protect anonymity with court orders, we have a MUCH bigger problem on our hands than steroids and cheating...
But as for a "solution"... Can Bud Selig. Remove him. If the owners and MLBPA REALLY care about cleaning up the game - or the public perception of it at least - get a new commissioner! There's PLENTY of fine candidates ready to lead the game into the future.
Allan "Bud" Selig's bumbling, fumbling, looks in the other direction and name are all over this scandal as much (or more) than anyone else's. It was on his watch that baseball failed and made it's most embarrassing and longest running ignominy. The NFL took steroids head on in 1986 and has basically brushed every PED incident under the proverbial rug since and no one has paused long enough to yawn. Meanwhile baseball gets slaughtered daily. Heads should have rolled a long time ago and there's only the blood of one that could wash this entire episode clean... Bud Selig needs to pay the price.
When Selig gets removed, THEN baseball, its fans and the general public can write on a clean slate, wary and leery but no longer judgmental. Put a new commissioner in and the "Steroid Era" has a fitting funeral whether or not steroids ever leave the game entirely or not. We the fans and American public can move on and the game will thrive again.