ESPN writer Howard Bryant (Juicing the Game) calls out the players and management of both teams in the 2002 World Series between the Anaheim Angles (Troy Glaus) and the San Francisco Giants (Barry Bonds). Bryant doesn't spare the doctors, also popping unethical California physician Ramon Scruggs who supplied steroids to the Angels' players.
That said, the intricate details of just how this confidence game was carried out still carry immense value, for they cement a discredited time with facts instead of speculation. Understanding the foundations of the steroid era also reveals that this industrywide failure stretched far beyond the players connected to Brian McNamee, Kirk Radomski or the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative. It provides even more evidence that so much of what we've seen on the field during the past decade and a half needs to be recast.
Recently, The New York Times obtained transcripts of interviews by federal agents with four major league players conducted as part of the ongoing criminal investigation of Ramon Scruggs, a physician under indictment for illegally distributing steroids to big leaguers, police officers and corporate executives, among others.
As we have said, dirty trainers, doctors, and health professionals often stand behind the doping curtain:
Each player used an old rationalization -- I wasn't trying to cheat; I was trying to stay on the field -- to soften the appearance of his actions, but the domino effect remains the same. At this late date, the excuses grow thin, the lies nothing more than a self-created noose.
And that 2002 Series pitting Glaus and the 'Angels' v. Bonds and the 'Gaints'. We will not point out the delicate irony behind those monikors (we just did):
The 2002 Angels, for example, are the legitimate champions of an illegitimate time, just as Bonds is the legitimate home run champion of a discredited era. Despite Angels manager Mike Scioscia's adamant public stand against drugs, people around the game point privately to that club as one of the premier steroid-fueled teams thanks in part to a bullpen rife with career minor leaguers who suddenly began throwing in the mid-90s after their 30th birthdays.
Glaus was the MVP of that 2002 World Series, which is looking more and more like the definitive Steroid Series. Glaus, Brendan Donnelly and Schoeneweis, all of whom have been implicated, played for the Angels that season. On the Giants, there were Bonds, Benito Santiago, Marvin Benard, David Bell and Rich Aurilia. And that doesn't include the players who were suspect.
Bryant's exleeent writing is very dense reading, packed full of fact and logic. Excellent piece.