No, not for serious October baseball.
Well, it is that time of year. But it’s also the season for space-filling columns. Let’s see what ESPN-New York’s Ian O’Connor has to say about Sandy Alderson:
In a lot of ways, Sandy Alderson comes to the New York Mets out of central casting. A Marine, Vietnam vet, Harvard Law grad, architect of a winner, and a baseball ambassador charged to stamp out fraud and drug use in the game’s Dominican Republic pipeline.
Who would dare reject that resume? Alderson sounds more like a commissioner of a first-rate sport than a general manager of a second-rate team. In fact, maybe a quick fix of the Mets puts him in line to succeed Bud Selig.
But when he steps to the microphone as Omar Minaya’s replacement, Alderson should take the time of offer an apology. He should say he’s sorry for being an enabler at a time when baseball desperately needed a whistle-blower and a leader.
He should say he’s sorry for allowing the monstrous steroid culture to grow fangs on his watch.
That’s right, kids. Sandy Alderson might be a war hero, but he ruined baseball for America.
OK. Was Alderson the general manager of the Bash Brother Athletic teams of the late 80s? Yup. Did Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco spend a lot of time juicing up? Oh yeah. Canseco would sleep in a hyperbaric chamber full of pressurized steroid air, bench pressing in his roided sleep the entire roided time. Mark McGwire would throw twelve virgins into a blender each morning and greedily drink their HGH-rich blood as he did arm curls and listened to Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen.
And Sandy Alderson could have maybe possibly suspected as much the whole time — thus making him directly responsible.
Now let’s pretend for a minute that matters. Let’s all pretend Sandy Alderson was hanging out in the locker room, injecting his players with steroids and awkwardly patting them on their sore, just-needled butts. Hey Jose, let’s do some steroids later, dude. Come on Mark, all the cool kids are doing it. Let’s assume that Alderson did some bad, roid-y things, and then covered it up to protect his team. If you bother to read anything about him, you’ll quickly discover that wasn’t the case. But if we assume he did those things — and that they even mattered — then maybe he should make up for it.
Only, as O’Connor himself notes in his second sentence, Alderson spent the last year fighting steroid use in the Dominican Republic. He was literally the man MLB hand-picked to fight PED use among amateurs. I actually believe “rump kicking roid-destroyer extraordinaire” was his official title (or, as Google translator puts it in Spanish, “grupa patadas extraordinario roid-destructor”), though I could be mistaken. But his job was to get steroids out of baseball where they are still most prevalent.
So even if you think he did something wrong — and he didn’t — it seems Alderson did his penance already. This isn’t just a stupid knock against Alderson. It’s a wrong one.