Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Pujols Not too Happy

Hours before the Mitchell Report was released to the public, several prominent news outlets falsely reported a number of players supposedly mentioned in the report. One of these players was Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols. The St. Louis media picked up the report and ran with it. Once the Mitchell report was officially released, Pujols name was absent, and the news outlets had to issue apologies. According to a report on MLB.com Pujols was fairly upset that the St. Louis media picked up the false story so quickly. I would be too.

The trouble with baseball in the post steroid era is that everyone who hits more than 30 homeruns raises suspicion. Players that bounce back from bad seasons raise questions, and any sharp increase in production causes people to wonder. Any change in a players appearance is enough to get people concerned. People wonder why a player at the age of 30 looks bigger than he did at 21, even though its a fact of life that the older you get the more weight you put on. Now in some cases the suspicion is founded (Barry Bonds looks like he's twice his size in muscle as his rookie self), but not for everyone. Its gotten to such a point where people who never have even been linked with PED's can still raise suspicion in fans.

Albert Pujols became an easy target not because he has used PED's (certainly not that anyone knows of), but because he hits for power, and is a big guy. The Roger Maris', Reggie Jackson's, Hank Aaron's, and Willie Stargell's of our generation will never be viewed through an untainted lense. This is a sad commentary on the state of baseball.

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