17 year big league vet Matt Williams was installed as Davey Johnson’s replacement in Washington yesterday, an occasion that caused “The Rocket Who Fell To Earth : The Rocket That Fell to Earth: Roger Clemens and the Rage for Baseball Immortality” author Jeff Pealman to remind us that while playing for Diamondbacks in 2002, Williams purchased nearly $12,000 worth of HGH and other PED’s. “Somewhere in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, there was almost certainly a clean third baseman not getting his chance because Williams decided to cheat, and held his roster spot,” argues Pearlman, and while he’s not quite ready to advocate Williams’ banishment from the game, he does wonder why no one in attendance at the introductory press conference thought this was pertinent.
<Perhaps we do need to move on. Perhaps enough is enough. What shocked me, though, was today’s press conference, and not … one … member of the Washington, D.C. sports press corps even asking Williams about PED. There are things to wonder, including, “What do you say to people who think cheaters shouldn’t be given second chances in baseball?” and “Did you learn anything from your ordeal?” and “Should we at all question your integrity and truthfulness?” In the same way Wally Backman once lost the Arizona managerial gig because, it turned out, he had several past legal issues, Williams should have (I believe) at least addressed the elephant in the room.
Or, perhaps, there is no elephant to speak of.
It should be stressed that although the PED matter wasn’t raised at Williams’ press conference, at least one Washington baseball writer thought this was worth bringing up 6 days ago.