There is an interesting topic brewing in spring training. A revisit of an old topic that just will not go away. The use of performance enhancing drugs. Every spring, it seems as if this question is raised or brought up. Whenever a player comes into camp, trimmer or more muscular, they are said to be 'in better shape'. In the back of everyone's collective mind, however, it is pondered. Last season it was Alex Rodriguez facing a whirlwind of media. Who's under the microscope now? Two leaders of the New York Mets, David Wright and Jose Reyes.
First, let's discuss Jose Reyes. Reyes has been involved in a public relations nightmare involving a Canadian doctor, Dr. Anthony Galea.
"A lot of people talked about (Galea)," Reyes said. "I wanted to come back so bad to the field to play, so I say, 'Why not? Let's try this guy and see if he can fix me.' "
Dr. Galea has ties to such prominent athletes as Tiger Woods, Dana Torres and former Mets player Carlos Delgado. He is currently being investigated for his practices and anyone noteworthy, that he has treated will be questioned by federal agents. Unfortunately, Reyes finds himself in that position. While it is not known at this time what was asked or his statements, what is known is that Reyes, currently is not under investigation.
On the other end of the spectrum is, the player who is the face of this franchise, David Wright. Wright showed up to spring training earlier this week in the best shape of his career. He is leaner and more muscular. The first items on the agenda to be addressed was HGH. He quickly dismissed it, citing his upbringing.
"Obviously I was raised in a way that it's not even an option. More importantly, it's not an option for me," says Wright.
However, the fact that he had to answer any questions like that at all is the real story. We now live in an age where we can't trust our heroes. It is a sad time to be a fan. When cheering a home run, one can't help to question it now. The innocence is gone. We are no longer naive, we are tainted as are the records that we watched fall. We no longer view the world in the same way. We have lost the joy of the game. It is that we should be concerned over, not the athlete whom we feel has slighted us. It is that we should be angry for, nothing else.
These athletes who have caused such harm and the distributors with them, were only responding to a human emotion. Pride. Perhaps survival as well, but they were only trying to hold on to what they had or rise above where they were. In that vein, can you we truly blame them for cheating? I'm sure the average fan will scream 'yes', but that average fan is not in their shoes. That average fan doesn't face the pressures they face.
I was always told not to point a finger, because there are three pointing back. When did we forget that as a country? I believe the suppliers and the distributors are much more to blame for the destruction of our innocence. However, now that we are no longer naive, we will question. When we do question, no one is safe. Everyone is held accountable, and should be, but I miss the days when players can show up to spring training 'in better shape'.