First thanks to Joltin Joe Orsulak for getting up a thread while I wasn't around.
Second, this is...pretty horrible news. What we had this season since the collapse of the team was that Rafael Palmeiro reached 3,000 hits in an Orioles uniform. I spent time defending his Hall of Fame case (which I still believe in).
I don't see athletes as role models, though I am certainly not unaware that to many, they are. Do I think this makes teenager number one take steroids? I don't know. It wouldn't exactly deter them, but I think most people now look at things like this as, "That's really stupid."
As for believing Palmeiro, uh, hm. Maybe? Maybe I believe this was an accident? That would be some miraculous coincidence though, don't you think? That not once but twice he was unfairly persecuted? Within six months? Come on. I like Rafael Palmeiro, but I'm also not going to be a fool and take his side just because I don't want it to be true. I don't. But it is.
Cheating's cheating, I'm not going to go into a whole big thing about it. I don't think it makes him a worse human being any more than amphetamines and cork made stars of the golden days of fairness bad human beings.
But there's nothing you or me can do. Sportswriters are going to go nuts again, and it probably weakens Palmeiro's Hall chances to some degree, which I think is a shame. But I'm also not going to go too deeply into that.
Bottom line, it's a shame this happened. Palmeiro's a good guy and a historically great hitter. I'm still going to believe in that if nothing else about him, and really no argument will change that. Maybe he doesn't get into the Hall of Fame. He wouldn't be the first great player left out, and he won't be the last.
What pains me the most is to watch Palmeiro have to address the public again. He did his best the first time around, and he did his best this time too. But how many times can you get called into the principal's office before everyone stops buying that you "weren't really doing anything, honest!"
To at least some degree, Palmeiro's a liar and a cheater. And that is just plain too bad. Still a great ballplayer and still a good guy. But this will now hang over his head forever, if it wasn't already going to.