Today in unsurprising news…
The Yankees and White Sox are under way after a 64-minute rain delay. A rain delay. Go figure.
In other news that cannot possibly qualify as surprising, two more stars in the game have been exposed, having shown up positive for performance-enhancing drugs on the 2003 list, the one with 104 names. The one that was supposed to be confidential. Manny and Big Papi join A-Rod. Nearly six months later.
The leaky faucet that is baseball’s steroids past continues to drip.
The most telling part of today was the reaction – weary, subdued reaction – from Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira in the clubhouse. Damon said the news surprised him – really, how could it have? – but couldn’t have said anything else about his former teammates. Damon later joked that perhaps he will turn out to be the biggest idiot of them all for never noticing, never suspecting.
Damon and Teixeira – and on the other side of the field, Ozzie Guillen – said the list of the 104 should be made public in a once-and-for-all attempt to deal with and then move past the hovering dark cloud. That the guilty were once promised confidentiality no longer seems to sway the weary. They’ve had it.
Those who compromised the confidentiality – and, make no mistake, they are a different brand of guilty — ultimately may win.
“I guess,” Damon said, shrugging, “you really can’t trust what anybody says nowadays.”
And maybe you simply can’t trust an entire era even though a bewildered Jeter again felt compelled to offer this reminder: “Everybody wasn’t doing it.” Upon today’s news, try to convince anyone that steroid use wasn’t pervasive in the 2003 Red Sox clubhouse.
“That’s probably what is being said,” Damon said, “and that’s what makes guys like me upset.”
Teixeira suggested that kids look to himself, Matt Holliday and Chase Utley as players who’ve put up numbers since 2003 and “have done it the right way.”
Or how about young players like Evan Longoria, Adam Jones, Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and the Upton brothers, who weren’t even in the game back then?
Or how about the ones – perhaps not as numerous as we’d hope – who came out of the steroid era clean, who are able to look themselves squarely in the mirror?
After talking to the media, Jeter went to the batting cage to stow his bat in the Yankees dugout. As he did, a few kids wanted autographs, which he signed. An older gentleman at the edge of the dugout simply asked to shake his hand. “I admire,” he told Jeter, “the way you’ve always played the game.”
Jeter shook his hand. And said thanks.