Cal Ripken, Jr.: The O.J. Of Steroids Investigators

On May 16 of last year, the PALM BEACH POST reported:

Ripken Brothers Cal and Billy

(Left: Holmes, Right: Watson)

Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. has known New York Yankees All-Star Alex Rodriguez for 16 years, but the two have not spoken since Rodriguez admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs while playing for the Texas Rangers.

But when they do, he has one question.

“I really want to know why,” Ripken told the audience at the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s Men’s Night Out banquet Thursday.

 ”I’m going to make it my business to find out.”

Like you, I’m certain we’ll soon know what Ripken found out during his six month investigation. Probably right around the time Furman Bisher breaks the news that Tiger Woods has re-emerged from a sex addiction clinic in southern Mississippi.

In 2007, (gumshoe) Ripken and Mark McGwire were both eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time. Ripken was voted in while McGwire was not only embargoed by the BBWAA that year, but in two subsequent elections.

BBWAA member and Baseball Hall of Fame voter Mel Antonen in a 2007 USA TODAY web chat after voting concluded:

Oyster Bay: How do we know that other Hall of Famers never took steriods? How do we know 100% that Cal and Tony never did it? Please tell us, the American baseball fan how we can trust the media to give us the truth, when this was going on for years? Charlie from Oyster Bay
Mel Antonen: Cal and Tony were never accused of steroids by any legitimate source. There was no drug testing in place when they played.

Elon, NC: Some writers said they won’t vote for anyone in the steroid era. Ripken got 98.5% Can he really be considered from the steroid era? Aren’t his numbers/accomplishments enough from 1981 to 1998?
Mel Antonen: I agree. It doesn’t make sense to link Ripken to any kind of steroids use.

With steroids primarily used by the population to recover from injury, “it doesn’t make sense” that Ripken partook during his run of 2,131 consecutive games played?

On the same day as Antonen’s chat, Jack Curry of the NEW YORK TIMES reported this quote from Baseball Hall of Fame voter Phil Rogers of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE on McGwire:

“I can’t imagine ever voting for him. He’s been linked too directly to steroid use.”

At the time of those quotes, an accusation by Jose Canseco in his first book was the only anecdotal link between McGwire and steroids. There was no direct evidence of any kind.

So the same guy MLB blackballed and BBWAA writers looked down their noses at, Canseco, had enough credility at that time to ruin McGwire’s Hall of Fame chances?

If that’s the case Mr. BBWAA, then what about Canseco’s 2009 clear implication that Ripken did steroids? Where’s the follow on that?

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In Which Albert Pujols Invites You Into His Bathtub

To recap, Albert Pujols does not take steroids — and to prove it, won’t you please accept this tube of scented bath gel and join him in the tub? Our Cardinals hero used the day before the All-Star game to reiterate his contention that his numbers are not chemically enhanced, and in fact he’s getting downright militant about it. Want to check and see? Seriously — Pujols will pee in a cup in front you right now.

Albert Pujols

Ever since December 2007, when it was reported by several outlets that his name was included in the Mitchell report - since proven to be false - Pujols has waged a one-man campaign to clear his name. And now, with his astronomical numbers at baseball’s halfway point, Pujols is on the offensive again. You may not be taking the juice, Albert, but your quotes are injected with hilarious goodness. Let’s proceed.

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Is Chase Utley the Next Big Superstar? Is Anyone?

Heaven knows it’s a battle to fill the gaping maw of a newspaper sports section (or, heck, an Internet site).  It’s eternally ravenous, utterly unforgiving, and preternaturally cruel.  Lots of writers have to resort to the occasional trick (like comedy bullet points) to keep the beast at bay for another day.

Carl Fredricksen from Up

(ARIZONA REPUBLIC writer, considering his next opus)

However, it takes a special effort to knock out 1200 words bemoaning the loss of the baseball superstar.  It takes interviews with other old men as they pass through town to hopefully buttress your case.  It takes calling up your friends and/or other similarly-minded sports fans in town.  It takes quoting Simon and Garfunkel.  And, of course, it takes bullet points.  (These are also funny, but it’s less intentional this time.)

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Clemens, McGwire, Bonds Headed To Hall of Fame

I’ve enacted an embargo on all sports media, thanks to Alex Rodriguez’s PEDs admission today. I can’t take anymore talk of how this will affect ARod’s reception by fans and his off-field endorsement career. I could give a damn how Rodriguez is treated by fans or how much off-field money he’ll make in the future.

Barry Bonds Roger Clemens Mark McGwire

(Guess those Horse ‘Roids Nomah scored in TJ didn’t do the job)

How is the media missing the only thing that matters in the aftermath of ARod getting nailed to the floorboards? Or am I giving them too much credit?

Does ARod’s Steroid admission mean McGwire, Bonds and Clemens are now locks for the Hall of Fame?

View Results

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Former Rangers GM Responds To Rocker’s Claims

NEW YORK NEWSDAY tracks down John Hart, as the former Texas Rangers GM responds to John Rocker’s allegations that the team & union told him and other players how to take steroids.

John Hart Former Texas Rangers GM

Hart, who served as GM from 2001 to 2005, said he “absolutely did not have any idea” that Rocker had previously failed a drug test in 2000. And Hart was even more dumbfounded at accusations that the team would be giving out steroid advice: Read more…