Baseball Notebook

Daily Baseball Blog

Hank Aaron: Release 2003 Positive Test Names

Hank Aaron said yesterday that the names of the players who failed MLB drug tests in 2003 should be released.

The way I look at it is that these players chose to cheat because MLB and the player’s union allowed them to cheat. I can’t see protecting cheaters who didn’t play by the rules regardless of any promises made by MLB or the player’s union.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports wrote an article published on February 13 explaining why the results from the survey in 2003 could not be destroyed after the federal government became involved.

The results of the tests were given to the union on November 11 of 2003. The grand jury investigating BALCO requested the results of the tests eight days later on November 19.

The test results were seized by the government when the Comprehensive Drug Testing building was raided in April of 2004 and the results of the tests were taken from their computer.

Now it was no longer possible for the records of the positive tests to be destroyed since they were in the hands of the government.

Both MLB and the player’s union were guilty culprits in 2003 because they in effect said cheat all you want in 2003.

If the players had shown any restraint they could have kept the positive tests below five percent. If they had we might not even have drug testing today or at least not until after the congressional committee on steroids put pressure on MLB commissioner Bud Selig and Donald Fehr the director of the player’s union to institute testing for steroids.

When 104 of the 750 players in the majors  tested positive steroids testing was instituted. The 2003 records should be thrown out since those records were made by means of cheating.

Ten players hit over 40 homers in 2003. The top home run hitter in the AL last season was Miguel Cabrera with 37. Ryan Howard led the NL in home runs in 2008 with 48 and Adam Dunn hit 40 homers.

There were 5,207 homers hit in the majors in 2003 and 4,878 hit in 2008 for 329 less homers in 2008.

The penalties for positive tests were very weak in 2004 and showed that MLB and the player’s union were not serious about controlling the use of steroids in baseball.

The penalty for a first positive test in 2004 was treatment while a second positive test only resulted in a 15 day suspension or $10,000 fine.

The lenient penalties probably had a part in Congress becoming involved in 2005 by holding hearings that investigated the proliferation of steroids in baseball.

Those hearings resulted in more stringent penalites for players using steroids.

It is time to reveal the rest of these names since they are going to be revealed piecemeal for years to come.

If they are released they may prevent cheaters from getting into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Known cheaters like Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Manny Ramirez may gain entrance to the Hall of  Fame someday but they won’t have an easy time of it.

Any other potential Hall of Famers that are on the list of players with positive tests in 2003 need to be revealed now.

It may be too late to penalize any Hall of Famers who are already in despite using steroids but not too late to keep other cheaters out who may be on the list of cheaters.

The worst thing about steroids today is that there is no blood test for HGH. There may be several players using HGH today because the only way they can be caught is if they are caught with the HGH in their possession.

I am in complete agreement with Aaron about having the test results released. Aaron has probably been hurt by cheaters more than anyone else.

He would still be the career leader in home runs if not for cheaters like Barry Bonds. Someday another cheater Alex Rodriguez will probably pass Aaron on the list.

It isn’t fair for players like Aaron who played baseball the right way to be passed by steroids users who couldn’t make it on their God given ability but had to cheat to pass up the greats of baseball.

Six of the top 15 players on the career home run list have been linked to steroids.

No. 5 Ken Griffey Jr. and No. 13 Jim Thome are the only active players among the top 15 that have not been linked to steroids.

If they release the names today of the 104 players that have not already been revealed it won’t be too soon.

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