The broader question arises: Does the current scandal tarnish the 2004 and 2007 championships ? In my informal survey of everyone down at the general store, the answer cuts both ways. The championships are tarnished, of course, because everyone – including many die hard fans – would like them to be pure. On the other hand, the championships happened at the end of the Juiced Era, when everyone is suspects and few people tell the truth. The most important thing now is for Ortiz and the Red Sox to be as forthcoming and transparent as possible and get this behind them. And the best thing to happen would be for the Red Sox to win another championship. I got your PED right here!
What Major League Baseball should do is work out a deal with the Players’ Association and finally release the names of the 100 plus players who tested positive for some sort of PED in 2003. Everyone can have a chance to confess, deny, apologize, whatever -- and then move on, for Pete's sake.
If you’re a fan and have worked up a sense of outrage over all this steroid stuff, you should read Jose Canseco’s Juiced and the excellent Game of Shadows. It does help a fan to understand the mindset of professional athletes who see their peers getting an unfair advantage in a system that looks the other way. With PEDs in baseball, starting in the late 80s, the problem was systemic. Although we like to blame individuals, everyone is to blame and everyone got cheated in some way: Fans, players, owners, and the game itself.
But think of baseball’s color line -- not fully broken, I would argue, until the 1960s. Of all the players in the major leagues between 1868 and 1947, the year Jackie Robinson broke in with the Dodgers, they never had to complete with African American or Latin players. Are all those individual and team records and championships invalid because, in truth, those white players never competed day-in-day out against all the best players? After all, it was the more integrated National League that started winning All-Star Games and World Series as the 50s and 60s continued. How do you reach a conclusion as to who was better, Josh Gibson or Babe Ruth? As I said, in a systemic problem, we all lose.