Today's UTK column by Will Carroll is in BP's "free" section, so you don't need a subscription to read it...
As expected, he hits on the Jason Grimsley situation, although he -- like a lot of folks -- doesn't seem to think that there is a whole lot that MLB can realistically do, given the state of testing right now. One of the basic facts of sporting life is that those using PEDs are always a couple of steps ahead of those testing for them, and those athletes who get caught are usually either the dumb ones or the sloppy ones.
One other thing that I think is worth mentioning...
One of the things that people blast athletes for is not living up to their potential. Tim Thomas's performance in the Western Conference Finals is a perfect example of that, a guy with a ton of ability who just hasn't given enough of a damn to be the stud that everyone thought he could be.
Because, of course, we as fans who love the game would do anything, give anything, to have a chance to be a professional athlete on the major league level.
And you know what? There are a lot of people who play the game who feel the same way. Which is why, in baseball, in football, in just about every sport, you have these issues regarding PEDs.
For every Jose Canseco, who rides PEDs to greatness, there are a bunch of Jason Grimsleys and Mike Morses and Alex Sanchezes and Agustin Monteros, guys who end up using to try to get that extra edge that could mean the difference between a ten year career in the majors as a role player and topping out in AAA with an occasional cup of coffee.
And a bunch of Ken Caminitis and Matt Lawtons, guys who see their talent and careers slipping away before their love of the game (and, no doubt, their love of the major league paychecks) has disappeared, who use to try to squeeze a few more years out, to try to help slow the aging process.
I'm not saying that it is right. I'm not saying that those who have used shouldn't be criticized, shouldn't be punished.
But at the same time, we should realize that, when we condemn those who have used PEDs, we are in essence criticizing them for caring too much about being the best they can be, for pushing so hard to succeed that they've crossed the line.
Again, I'm not saying it is right, or okay.
But you know...I can certainly understand why these guys would do it...