Friday, March 18, 2005


By all accounts of the steroid hearings yesterday (and Howie Kurtz has a nice summary of them here, Mark McGwire essentially admitted (by refusing to discuss and evading all questions) that he took steriods while he played. Everyone seems to come away with the same conclusion.

As our dwindling readership knows, I've been pretty firm on this issue. I believe Barry Bonds took steroids and his performance over the past few years reflects their effects, and thus his "records" are not what they appear to be. I think I can say the same about McGwire now too. My gut says Sosa is in the same camp, but not sure if the evidence is all there on him yet.

But on the question of whether there should be "asterisks" in the record books or not, I am firm too. Absolutely not. We don't need them. Asterisks are for a time when the places to get information about basebal were limited (Baseball Encyclopedia, Sporting News, Etc.) The record on Bonds, McGwire, Sosa et al. is well-documented and easily accessible today, and people can make there own judgments about their numbers, just as we do about the pitching stats from the late 1960s and the pre-1920 hitting stats.

Even without asterisks, my own judgment will still be clear: Roger Maris still holds the single-season HR record, and Aaron Ruth and Mays are safe in my book. When someone passes them in the post-steroids testing era, that will be really impressive.


Post a Comment

<< Home