The steroid rumor mill has been spinning out of control. More than 50 players tested positive, one megastar. Clubhouse talk. Maybe it's only a dozen, but there's a bigger name than Rafael Palmeiro. That's what's going around. ...Does that mean we can cross those names off the suspected players list?
Why should Lance Berkman, Mike Sweeney, Garret Anderson, Jason Varitek or Carlos Beltran have to compete with cheaters? Why should Roy Halladay, Jake Peavy, Rich Harden or Pedro Martinez have to outperform someone whose fastball and recovery time are enhanced?
More rumors from Howard Bryant, in his Wednesday Herald column:
Before last week's Red Sox-Royals finale, a Royals player, who shall remain nameless, sat in the Kansas City dugout staring straight ahead squinting against the early afternoon sun. ... "Forget Palmeiro," the player said. "Be on the lookout for more. There are more names coming. Trust me."And yesterday on SoSH, there were these posts:
The television executive whose network is a rights holder of Major League Baseball said last Friday that baseball had the names of as many as a dozen positive steroid tests that it was withholding from the public ...
Three days later, before Monday's 11-6 Sox win over Texas, a Red Sox pitcher heard the same thing ... "We're all hearing the same thing," the player said, noting that leading up to the Palmeiro announcement word had floated for days that "somebody big" was going down. "I heard they had 58 names they weren't releasing. I also heard that at least two were bigger than Palmeiro."
Later that afternoon, a former executive told me he had heard the talk recently, too, but the number is closer to 50 than 58. ... An Oakland executive not named Beane was frustrated, leaning toward believing the rumors. "If they knew about Palmeiro since May," the executive said, "what's to say they aren't sitting on more names?"
5:47 PM -- Michael Kay on the radio: Heard his rumor independent of Gammons -- Two big names, one in the national league, one AL. One would shock you - not the type anyone has speculated on, the other one would disappoint you. Very big names.Not much of a source, but that's gossip for you. I would think that lesser-talented players would be more apt to try to gain any sort of advantage, since that might be all that keeps them in the major leagues. Then again, the prospect of a $100 million free agent deal would be pretty alluring to a star player too.
6:49 PM -- According to NYYfans.com, Kay said one was a "near HOF" quality player and the other was a "HOF lock." And there's a suggestion in the thread over there, but it's not clear, that he said that the HOF lock is the AL player.
10:03 PM -- From NYYfans ... I know someone who is in contact with a certain baseball author. This author claims that A-Rod is definitely juicing. I won't reveal the author's name here, and I can't even confirm if he even said that, but just some food for thought.
MLB's apparent unwillingness to release these test results -- in the wake of pretty clear evidence they sat on Palmeiro's positive results, letting him continue playing until he got his 3,000th hit and after the Hall of Fame ceremonies passed -- is one of this story's more intriguing subplots.