Former Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro said in a recent interview on ESPN that he stands by his claims of innocence regarding purposely taking performance-enhancing drugs. He says he was injected by a temammate, presumably Miguel Tejada, but with vitamin B-12 (or at least that's what he thought it was). Palmeiro says that he never took anything and you could see his production, from high school to college and the pros where he succeeded through hard work and did not cheat. If indeed he did test positive, he says that whatever he took, be it the B-12 injection or anything else, it must have been tainted and he knew nothing about it. Raffy also goes on to say that he hopes the so-called list of those who tested positive comes out as he wil be exonerated and had nothing to gain by taking performance enhancers at that point in his career.
And you know what? I believe him. Raffy has always been honest to the press, the fans and the public in general. He sat in front of the politicians and pointed his finger at them, saying, "I don't know how to be any clearer than this. I never took performance-enhancing drugs." He now is vilified because of that, while others in question neither confirm nor deny their accusations. Only because Raffy flatly denied involvement is he now scorned by the entire baseball community and embarassingly, his former rabid fans of the Baltimore Orioles.
Now is the time to make amends with him. Every Oriole fan should pull out their Palmeiro jerseys, t-shirts and memorabilia and stand up to support the man that was adored by legions of Bird fans during his two tenures here in Baltimore. We should be ashamed of ourselves for the way we abandoned him in his time of need. His records and efforts as an Orioles should be acknowledged and applauded, publicly, by the fans and by the team as well. If us fans can start a swell of emotion to recall his time as a proud Baltimore Oriole who has accomplished what only a handful of major leaguers ever did, then perhaps the team wil get off their high horse and follow in suit.
Now is the time, Baltimore. Bring back Raffy and let's get the ball rolling to put him where he belongs - back in our hearts and the Baseball Hall of Fame!