Often times you see the comissioner and other baseball officials claiming ignorance when it comes to the issue of steroids in the sport. In reality, its something they have to do to save face. Even though most fans suspected it and many officials had to know it was going on, it went largely unchecked until failed drug tests began to emerge. But one member of the baseball family knew what was going on all along. He saw the signs.
"I work for MLB, but I don't have the same prejudices as most people who get their check from baseball would. I saw the signs coming from a mile away." Said Al Jenkins, Director of Purchase and Orders for MLB.
"In my line of work, you see what all the teams are buying and you'll pick up on certain trends. You notice that teams are suddenly handling heavier bats, or ordering bigger jerseys. Things like that."
Through watching the purchases and orders throughout baseball Al was able to spot a startling trend throughout the sport. This, Al says, is what really tipped him off to the culture of performance enhancers in baseball.
"I was looking over the orders and noticed that within a 6 month period in the late-nineties, cup sizes shrunk dramatically. Teams were ordering extra smalls in bulk. I was shocked, but in the mean time, homeruns were getting mashed like crazy. It took a little bit of time, but I finally put two and two together."
"I started researching and I found this letter from one team asking if we could order anything smaller than the extra small. The company that supplied us didn't want to make an extra small so they adjusted all the other sizes, making large into medium and medium into small. I thought this was another sign of steroid use, until I saw the letter was from the 80's and was written by the Red Sox. It all made sense then."
Is it enough circumstantial evidence to condemn the era? Perhaps not, but the trend remains as another piece of the larger picture of the steroid era, a picture that when viewed through 3D glasses shows Barry Bonds.... with a small cup.