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Renzhofer: Baseball will always rise above nuisance of PEDs

Published February 9, 2013 8:08 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

So, Milwaukee's Ryan Braun has once again been linked to performance-enhancing drugs. Too bad for him.

Ultimately, this won't hurt baseball. There should be some satisfaction in the effort to keep the sport, any sport, a level field for those who would rather compete honestly.

As a Detroit fan, I was sad but not surprised when a Tiger, shortstop Jhonny Peralta, was linked to the anti-aging clinic in South Florida that had allegedly provided baseball players — confessed user Alex Rodriguez among others — with PEDs.

My response was mild, actually. And thankful (as of yet) it wasn't Miguel Cabrera. But I knew, sooner or later, a Tiger was going to get snared in that web.

That's life these days.

It also reveals how much of a chore it is to keep track of an ever-growing array of PEDs. Athletes have always tried to find an edge and always will. If not for a clinic notebook, a few players would be breathing easier today.

Braun said his name was listed in the book because his lawyers used clinic founder Anthony Bosch as a consultant when the former NL MVP successfully fought his positive test in 2011. So, it cost between $20,000 and $30,000 to consult an unlicensed doctor?

I believe and admire former Chicago White Sox slugger and future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas' candor for recently challenging "fake" numbers.

The outrage about drugs in baseball is clearly fueled by the sport's strong connection to the past. Baseball's past is as relevant to fans as the here and now and the future. The numbers bind us all.

Back when cheating was simply being caught doctoring a bat or a ball, we as fans would shake our heads and wonder how anyone could be so stupid or short-sighted. Pitcher Gaylord Perry may be in the Baseball Hall of Fame. But also he's known as a spit-baller, a cheater. So much for his legacy.

The same is true about PEDs, which, as we have seen in cycling and track, aren't going away. We should accept that and remain on guard. Greed and lying go hand in hand.

Through it all, though, I also believe the late Buck O'Neil: "We've done a whole lot of things to hurt [baseball], but it's a type of thing that you just can't kill it. You can't kill baseball because when you get ready to kill baseball, something is going to come up, or somebody is going to come up to snatch you out of that."

That is true, too.






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