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Viagra wasn't working well enough?

Ouch. Double ouch. Triple ouch.

The Orioles have been in a free fall the last few weeks. They have no offense whatsoever. They have had about three bright spots all season:

  1. Miguel Tejada continuing his MVP-caliber play.
  2. Brian Roberts blossoming into an MVP-caliber player.
  3. Rafael Palmeiro getting his 3,000th hit and moving up other leaderboards.
Well, as Meat Loaf said, Two out of Three Ain't Bad.

The first two of those continue, although Roberts has (not surprisingly) fallen off some after his magnificent start.

But the third? You can forget about all the goodwill that Palmeiro built up for the team, because Palmeiro was just suspended for steroids. He claims it was all a misunderstanding:

But in a conference call with reporters, Palmeiro said he never intentionally took steroids and could not explain how the drugs got into his body. He also apologized and accepted his punishment.

"I am here to make it very clear that I have never intentionally used steroids," Palmeiro said in a prepared statement. "Never. Ever. Period."

"When I found out that I failed a test under the new drug policy, I filed a grievance and challenged the suspension on the basis that I have never intentionally taken a banned substance. Ultimately, although I never intentionally put a banned substance into my body - the independent arbitrator ruled that I had to be suspended under the terms of the program."

But (a) not many people are going to believe that, and (b) even if they do, the fact that he used unintentionally will still be seen as tainting his play.

Leaving aside everything else, taking Palmeiro's bat out of the lineup for the next ten games is just about the last thing this team needs. But the ramifications go far beyond that. People are already challenging his HOF case on this basis. And the steroid scandal, which had receded into the background as only a handful of obscure players were caught, is now going to leap back into the spotlight and overshadow the pennant races.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on August 1, 2005 3:52 PM.

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