Sportswriters pretend baseball's steroids era is over.

The stadium scene.
June 2 2006 5:12 PM

Pee No Evil

Why are sportswriters pretending baseball's steroids era is over?

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Likewise, when I look at Roger Clemens, I wonder: Where's the investigative digging? Like Bonds, Clemens is a larger-than-life athletic specimen. Like Bonds, Clemens is producing at an age when most of his peers are knitting. Unlike Bonds, Clemens does not have journalists breathing down his neck. Instead, the hometown Houston Chronicle has covered his recent re-signing with the Astros as a time for unmitigated celebration. Forget combing through his garbage for vials—I just want the Chronicle to ask Clemens whether he's used. Is the Rocket cheating? Again, I don't know. But doesn't someone have to at least try and find out?

"A lot of baseball writers are drunks or cheat on their wives," says Jose de Jesus Ortiz, the Chronicle's Astros beat writer. "I would never question anybody unless I have evidence. It's unfair to feel that just because of Bonds now we're required to question everyone about their methods."

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Is it unfair to pester individual athletes about steroids? Maybe. Is it the right thing to do journalistically? Without a doubt.

Jeff Pearlman is a former Sports Illustrated senior writer and the author ofLove Me, Hate Me: Barry Bonds and the Making of an Antihero.

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