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In Reply: Why They Shouldn't Release The List

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Chris Littmann adeptly explained why The List should be released to the public so baseball can take its black eye all at once, and not every few weeks when yet another of the more than 100 players who failed a drug test in 2003 gets leaked. ↵

↵And I'm here to tell you why that idea is stupid. ↵

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↵First, The List was handed over to federal authorities. In theory, the only people who have this list are the union, MLB and the feds. The union will never release the names and damage the reputations of their own players for no reason. The union's job is to protect the players, not out them. And MLB? If it releases the names, it'd be committing a crime, as it agreed to never release the names in accordance with the testing agreement. Not to mention it could potentially be impeding a federal investigation. The fact is, if MLB released the names, the union would strike that day. And who could blame it? So that leaves the feds, who aren't really in the business of giving away information like this, are they? ↵

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↵Second, does anyone care that baseball is having its "Band-Aid ripped off" slowly over the course of a few months rather than in one swift tug? Baseball deserves a light to be shined on this as long as humanly possible. Think about who has been reported to have either failed a drug test (on The List) or has been associated with performance enhancing drugs through other legal and governmental measures thus far. ↵

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↵Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmiero, Miguel Tejada, Ken Caminiti. ↵

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↵The List goes on. Every one of those players was an All-Star. Many of those players were MVPs and some are sure-fire Hall of Famers, even with the suspicion – or admission – of PEDs. The List, as Chris called it, is everyone. Everyone in baseball is under a giant cloud of suspicion, and releasing The List indicts only those 104 players, ostensibly absolving all the rest. ↵

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↵What about Curt Schilling? More than any other player, Schilling has been vociferous in his denouncement of performance enhancers. But Schilling was on the 1993 Phillies, which had been rumored as one of the biggest juicing teams of all time. Darren Daulton recently told local Philadelphia radio, when asked about his own steroids use: ↵

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↵⇥"If I told you all the drugs that I've taken, Mike, you would open that up as a can of worms. I can assure you, there's probably no one in any sport that has taken more drugs than I have." ↵
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↵Schilling was also part of the 2001 Diamondbacks World Series team, and while no name from that team has been officially been part of The List, there was the report about Matt Williams back in 2007 and there have been whispers, including a report in 2006 in which the Diamondbacks' own managing general partner Ken Kendrick was quoted as hearing (and perpetuating) whispers about Luis Gonzalez. ↵

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↵⇥In the interview, Kendrick said, "I'll be blunt with you and say there have been certainly whispers about Luis Gonzalez. Because he's such a high-profile guy and you can make a case of his numbers five years ago versus his numbers today and therefore he must have been doing something. Well, he's also five years older." ↵
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↵Now the glorious Red Sox curse-breaking squad of 2004 was full of juice just one year before Schilling got there? Oh, and Manny Ramirez was popped for failing a test this season, so the suspicion lingers that something must have been going on with those players – and in that clubhouse – after the 2003 season. ↵

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↵Was Schilling so vocal in recent years out of some semblance of guilt? Did he know something he wasn't telling us? Or was he completely blind to what was going on in his own clubhouses? ↵

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↵It's not just Schilling. And by no means am I suggesting that Schilling was using PEDs. I'm just illustrating the point that The List is everyone in baseball. Those who used. Those who knew but didn't say. Those who looked the other way. ↵

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↵If baseball really wants to clean up the game, and not make the current steroid-testing era nothing more than a PR maneuver, they should want the names to keep coming out. Make this an issue we can't get away from. Throw it in our faces to show that it won't be tolerated and it won't happen anymore. Besides, at this point, there's nobody on The List who would surprise us. Is there? ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.