Not really sure what to make of the now weekend old Sweeney-Steroid story. Of course, it combines two elements near and dear to the Royal fan's heart: the everpresent glee inherent in discussing steroid use (no idea why, but it just never goes away, and the outrage cum enjoyment never runs out) and speculation regarding Sweeney. As Bill James once pointed out, bad teams tend to punish their best player, and Sweeney is easily the most hated Royal, although its not always clear why.
As you know, last week the "story" broke:
"In 1999, my career was in the crossroads and I was converting from a catcher to a first baseman," Sweeney said on KCSP's midmorning show with Tim Grunhard and Doug Franz, "and I had some friends of mine that I played with at the time in KC that said, `Look, hey, I picked up the juice. It will help you be stronger, it will give you a better longevity in your career. Do you want to take it?'
"I went to bed that night and I had a sick feeling in my stomach, and I woke up the next morning and I told myself, `Look, I've never done drugs in my life. I've never even taken a puff of marijuana, nothing, no greenies. Why should I start now?' "
Sweeney told The Star later Friday that he has never taken steroids.
"There would have been no repercussions back then," Sweeney said by phone from California. "There was no testing like that. But I knew in my heart it was wrong, and I had my faith to get me through it."
Of course, Sweeney didn't divulge who was using in 1999, adding to the seeming pointlessness of the story. Clearly, the story, from Sweeney's perspective, is I didn't and don't use drugs, and kids shouldn't either which is fine, although I'm not sure if steroid use is actually a problem.
Then again, given the current political climate, when every action/policy/platform is based around helping the children, it makes sense. (OK, self-edit, no sense in getting off on a tangent here)
So yea, I guess we could speculate on who was juiced in 1999. Frankly, I'm bored by the conversation and just not interested in branding people with the moral failing when I have no real info... Hey, I wonder who cheated on their wife on that '99 team?
I really just hope Mike plays in 130 games in 2006, we'll need all the help we can get to not lose 100 games for the third straight season.