Four homers in four games, is he back? Is he using the Juice? Or the Clear?
I guess I’m asking if Melky is good, is Melky dirty?
I know a few things that I think are relevant.
The majority of the players who were suspended for violations in the Biogenesis affair (let’s keep it sexy), never tested positive. They were found out because of the records the clinic kept and the information the Miami New Times dug up. Testing wasn’t working.
Our most biggest PED users, deserved Future Hall of Famers, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, never failed a test (though they were subject to other protocols which suggest they cheated.).
Ryan Spilborghs column about this made it clear that most players don’t want the drugs, but given the money involved, it is not a simple decision to reject them. Especially since some of them promote healing, which is an especially important way to beat the clock.
So let’s recap:
Players will do their best to perform their best, which sometimes includes PEDs.
Many if not most PEDs tests are beatable, or manageable.
What do we have?
Something like a management program. Football could care less about their drug users. For them it is all PR.
Baseball’s PR likes to present the league as vigilant and clean.
But there are clearly a lot of athletes out there in all leagues doing what they need to do to play at the level they’re expected to perform. If they can get an edge from drugs that are illegal but can avoid detection, the bias (a competitive one) is to go for it.
The bottom line is you can’t tell if Melky is the Melkman again because he’s found his groove or because he found a new drug regime. I’m personally not sure whether it’s worthwhile to go too far with conjecture, but I am sure that the athletes we pay millions and scores of millions to will avail themselves of every advantage they can legally find (or they think they can get away with).
Take that to the bank.