Dear MLB and MLBPA:
I am fed up. It is becoming clear to me that you don’t care about your fans anymore. If you did, you would have released the list of the 104 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs back when the first name was leaked. Instead, you keep telling us that the list will never be released because it was supposed to be destroyed and blah blah blah.
Now lawyers are talking anonymously. You obviously can’t keep them quiet, or we would never have known any of the names from that list. We never would have heard that Barry Bonds, Jason Grimsley, Alex Rodriguez, David Segui, and Sammy Sosa were on that list. We never would have learned today that Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz were on that list.
If you really care about the fans of Major League Baseball, release the list. Right now, it’s like a Band-Aid. Pulling it off slowly hurts more than if you rip it off quickly. Having these names leaked slowly over time is hurting more than if you just released the entire list all at once. Tell us who betrayed our trust, let us vent our frustrations, and let’s move on.
Back in June when Sammy Sosa’s name was released, Ozzie Guillen said, “We should all be embarrassed. No matter how you put it, you’re not going to win. Every other week or every two weeks or whatever, we have to talk about this or somebody out or another player. I think whoever’s name is out there, just bring it up and deal with it for one day, and we don’t have to sit here every day. We need to get it over with. Get those names out there. Whoever is guilty is guilty, whoever is not is not. Let baseball deal with it once and then move on. Every month we seem to talk about somebody, and it’s not a good thing. It’s not healthy for the game.”
Ozzie is right. Get the names out and let’s move on. Don’t make us sit here and wonder who is on that list and who isn’t. Don’t make us wonder if people like Frank Thomas, Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter, and Jim Thome (among others) are on that list. (*Note: I used names that I hope and pray are not on that list…and I don’t think they are.)
After learning about Ortiz and Ramirez, Torii Hunter said, “Whoever got that list is just playing with Major League Baseball right now. Either put [the list] away, or just put it out. It was anonymous, and now the names are leaking, and it’s a joke.” Again, another person with common sense who is right. Stop playing with us. Stop playing with the fans, stop playing with the players, JUST STOP!
Release the list and move on. The sooner I know who is on that list, the sooner they can try and regain my trust. Two of the leaked names were before my rabid fandom started, so I can’t say that I liked them since I don’t know who they are. Four of the players, I never liked. Just one player needs to earn my trust back because I liked him. So in this open letter, there comes a smaller, personal letter:
Dear Mr. Ortiz:
When I started watching baseball, you were already a member of the Boston Red Sox. I have never been a Red Sox fan, but I liked you. What I saw from you always seemed to be a talent that blossomed somewhere else, as I did know you were previously a Minnesota Twin. You fit in with the Red Sox, and you were incredibly talented.
I woke up today to find a report that you and Manny Ramirez were two more names leaked on the list of 104 PEDs users in 2003. To say I was disappointed is an understatement, and I’m not even a Red Sox fan. You have effectively broken the hearts of all of Red Sox Nation and all of your supporters. However, at least for me, you can start to regain my trust in a way that I know will probably not sit well with Red Sox Nation.
Back in February when Alex Rodriguez’s name was released, you said that instead of a 50-game ban for a positive test result, players should receive a year-long ban. I’m not asking you to take a season off because of your past performance. I’m not even asking for 50 games since that’s most of the rest of the season. Endear yourself and take some games off. Come out and admit it, apologize without a script, and take some games off. Maybe a series or two. How about August 10-16? I’m being nice and not asking you to miss the Yankees series because I know how big that is for both teams. Actually, strike that. How about August 24-30?
Do something, Mr. Ortiz. Just apologizing isn’t really enough anymore. People say they’re sorry for everything nowadays, and most of them don’t mean it. It’s just a phrase to get someone to get off their case about something. Show me that you’re sorry. Maybe you won’t take any games off. If I were a famous athlete, I probably wouldn’t listen to a blogger either. But please do something. We were taught when we were young that actions speak louder than words. Show me that you’re sorry for betraying my trust, and you’ll start to earn it back much quicker than if you just say you’re sorry.
Now pardon me while I wait for another five hours for my White Sox, who better not be on that list or I’ll come chase them with pitchforks and fire, to take on the Yankees. That’s a promise, White Sox. Even if it means I have to walk to US Cellular…which from the suburbs is a REALLY long walk. Google Maps says it’s a twelve hour walk. (Really? It takes 12 hours to walk 35 miles?) BUT I’LL DO IT! So go beat the Yankees please. It’s Mark Buehrle Day in Illinois. You can’t fail on Mark Buehrle Day.