Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
-“Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel
At some point I knew a prominent Red Sox player would be linked to performance enhancing drugs. It was inevitable as seemingly every great player from the past 10-15 years has been connected to PED’s. I wasn’t sure who it would be, but I knew I had a list of Red Sox players who I hoped it wouldn’t be. David Ortiz was at the top of that list, and of course he is the first prominent Red Sox player to be linked to PED usage.
Does it taint how I look at the 2004 and 2007 championship teams? It takes away some of the legend, especially from the 2004 team. Big Papi seemed to be channeling Babe Ruth during that postseason, leading Boston to an improbably comeback over the Yankees as they won the World Series. Should there be an asterisk next to those titles? I don’t think so. You’d have to go all the way back to the late 80’s if you wanted to start assigning asterisks to teams to be consistent. It’s the steroid era.
I don’t think it will take away any of the joy I felt in the Fall of 2004. Do I wish they weren’t using PED’s? Yeah, but at the time baseball allowed for PED use. What’s a player to do when the entire culture, which was encouraged by baseball ownership, allowed PED usage to go on?
I found it funny when Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens got busted, and openly chastised Clemens when he refused to own it and threw anyone and everyone under the bus to save his tattered reputation.
I just wish someone would own up to it and not deny, lie or make excuses. I have yet to hear one player completely own up to it without making excuses. I think baseball fans know the culture of the sport back then, so just admit to it, acknowledge the culture and move on. You only look like more of an idiot when you deny or make weak excuses for your behavior.
Not sure what to say. Still love baseball and the Red Sox are still my favorite team. How do I explain it? Well, if you are a Husker fan you didn’t stop liking the team and put an asterisk next to the 1995 championship team even though it will forever be associated with Lawrence Phillips.
Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away.