Today it will be announced that Major League Baseball is going to investigate steroid usage by a number of players. Of course, as anyone who follows the game knows, this comes far too late to convince fans of the game that the players aren't cheating. That move should have come years ago. Today's announcement is about damage control.
It seems painfully obvious that some of the more remarkable players of our time have used illegal substances to gain that extra "edge" in a game that pays millions upon millions of dollars to the top performers. Missouri's adopted son Mark McGwire will likely see his image tarnished a bit more.
But the real thrust of the probe is Barry Bonds of San Francisco who is closing in on the all-time home run record. It appears that Bonds has been guilty of "juicing" his talents with steroids but the real question is when. It wasn't until 2002 that baseball officially banned the drugs. Anything before that is apparently off-limits.
I guess fans are fairly united against the use of any substance that is banned. But from baseball attendance - especially when Bonds is in town - you wouldn't know it. I think fans are more interested in seeing the home runs than they are in knowing if the player used steroids to gain the strength to hit those monsters.
I love baseball but when I think of the classic battle between McGwire and Sammy Sosa, it leaves a somewhat bitter taste in my mouth today knowing they were both probably using steroids.
And thus, I'm left with golf. Players of this fine game don't want muscle mass. They want fluid movement regardless of the size and strength of the player.
The baseball probe will make headlines but I doubt if much will come of it. Penalties have already been increased for those caught using steroids. Little can be done to resurrect the reputations of those thought guilty. And fans moan and complain but they still come to the ball park.
In the end, baseball will suffer some damage to its reputation but little more. Too bad this investigation didn't come when it could have really helped. Too late now however.