Forget Steroids — Baseball Needs To Move On

By Jemele Hill
Updated: April 10, 2006

ORLANDO — Baseball, it’s time to move on. Just admit it: You lost; steroids won. Now move on.

Steroids got the game back on track, produced the greatest home run race in history and gave the fans what they wanted to see — Goliaths pounding home runs far enough to stretch the length of Tiger Woods’ property.

We understand that’s why you never got serious about ridding steroids from the game.

Come clean about it and move on.

There is nothing more unnecessary than a steroids investigation, which only will prolong talk of an issue that fans are sick of hearing about.

The only thing that’s going to come from Commissioner Bud Selig’s steroids investigation, which he announced recently, is more dead trees.

Six months or a year from now or five years from now — however long this pointless investigation takes — all appointed investigator George Mitchell will have is a stack of paperwork that rivals the Kenneth Starr report.

“It sounds like a desperate move to try to be a hero,” said Jose Canseco, whose tell-all book kick-started the steroids investigation movement. “This is just going to start another war.”

Trust Canseco’s words because he is the E.F. Hutton of steroids use in baseball.

In fact, I would have had a lot more confidence in a Selig investigation if he appointed Canseco as lead investigator, because he’s the only baseball player who’s ever told the truth about his involvement with steroids.

Baseball must come to grips with the fact that what’s done can’t be undone. No one can change the past.

We can’t go back to 1998 and ask Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire how they all of a sudden developed muscles the size of meteors.

We can’t go back and ask Brady Anderson how a marginal player like him hit 50 homers in a season.

We can’t go back and stop Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds from getting under Victor Conte.

Asterisks won’t compensate for Major League Baseball’s blowing chance after to chance to do something about steroids.

So MLB, just take your penance — the BALCO scandal, Rafael Palmeiro’s embarrassing finger-wagging on Capitol Hill, and the book Game of Shadows, the only investigation that puts closure on the whole steroids issue.

The only reason Selig is investigating is because he wants to thwart Bonds from breaking the hallowed home run record.

Only it would be sports justice if Bonds does get the record. That’s just the price MLB must pay for caring far more about gate receipts than how players got mysteriously bigger and stronger.

There is no better punishment than Selig having to make a big deal out of a known cheater breaking the most treasured record in baseball.

Of course, Bonds doesn’t deserve the record. He’s a louse, and no matter how many times he cries on his reality show, Bonds on Bonds, he’s not getting sympathy from anyone.

Bonds’ punishment is what he’s going through now. But if it’s any consolation, Alex Rodriguez probably will own the all-time home run record eventually, anyway.

Baseball, you’ve done what you can. The steroids policy is strong enough. Derive some satisfaction from knowing that records broken from here on out will be more legitimate.

“They’re taking decent steps,” Canseco said. “They’re going to get rid of steroids little by little. The answer is not having Bud Selig do his own private witch hunt.”

You lost, baseball, and steroids won.

Just accept it and move on.