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Green: No asterisk necessary

With David Ortiz being the latest baseball hero to fall
victim to the Performance Enhancing Drugs scandal, the
notion that the Red Sox’
championship run was aided by cheaters and is now tainted
is something that has been tossed around.

While the Red Sox and their issues may not matter to
anyone out here the Valley, it is impossible not to think
about the D-backs’ own title, earned in the 2001 World
Series.

Though the only one who has been proven to be linked to
any type of PED from that team is Matt Williams (and he
claimed he ordered his stuff to return from injury), at
this point it would be reasonable to assume
that there were at least a few players from the team that
were, in other words, cheating. So, while we all sit here
in 110 degree heat, pointing, laughing and judging other
teams and their players, let’s not be naïve enough to
think that our team is immune.

With that, say it came out in the near future that some
key members of that team were on something. Would that
change your opinion of that team, that season, that
championship?

Personally, as far as I’m concerned, nothing would change.

If it came out tomorrow that Luis Gonzalez or Erubiel
Durazo were juicing – or anyone else on the team for that
matter – I would still remember that championship run and
being at Game 7 with great fondness.

To me, all the “Steroid Era” means is that the individual
achievements are tainted and deserve an asterisk, but
championships and team accomplishments should be
recognized in the same manner you would any other great
moment. So yeah, throw out Bonds’ record, A-Rod’s totals,
Clemens and whatever it was that he did before everyone
realized who he really was, but leave team achievements
alone.

The way I see it, if every team had its share of cheaters
then, technically, one could say there was a level playing
field. Sure, individually, players looking for recognition
and a big contract while doing things the right way were
at a disadvantage compared to those who took performance
enhancers, but on a team vs. team basis there should be no
complaints about fairness.

What it really comes down to, when looking back at the
Steroid Era, is that everyone will remember it in a
different way. The home run records, the individual
greatness, the sheer domination of some players will be
viewed in a darker light, with the players either having
been outed as PED users or just suspected of using.

So, even if some of the great D-backs of that era for sure
used or likely did, my opinion of that 2001 championship
will remain unchanged; it was a great season and a great
moment during what was a poor time for baseball.