Hey, no offense, F.P., but I was just trying to come up with the single most prominent ballplayer from a prior generation of Oakland/SF vets who were associated with performance enhancing drugs. Since I can’t quite remember any of the others, let’s instead turn to the matter of A’s starter Bartolo Colon, suspended yesterday for 50 after testing positive for testosterone (and not, as Matthew Callan suggested, “for gravy”). El Barto’s bust comes shortly on the heels of the Giants’ Melky Cabrera’s 50 game banishment, a coincidence that ESPN’s Buster Olney insists is just that. “There is no such thing as a Giants PED problem, or a Yankees or Athletics PED problem,” declared Olney, however, closer to the scene of the crime, the San Jose Mercury News’ Tim Kawakami argues, “The Bay Area is the Hometown of Steroids…and that’s both frustrating and incredibly devastating for the credibility of the two teams’ achievements this season.”
In Bay Area baseball, too-good-to-be-true almost always turns out to be chemically aided and soon-to-be-an-embarrassment. At this point, nobody in the Bay Area can be blindsided by anything like this anymore.
We all just go into automatic mode now: Absorb the news, wait for the player’s public statement, try to figure out how the team will deal with it.
But the A’s have lost credibility with this, as all teams lose credibility when they win games with players who are proven cheaters. They won 14 games that Colon started, including five of his last six starts. If the A’s fail to make the playoffs, they can point to the loss of Colon at this crucial period. If they do make the postseason, the 14 victories he helped get will be a part of it.
And it all makes 2012 unclean, tainted, and a perfect reflection of Bay Area baseball, the cradle and largest current purveyor of steroid use.