Whatever else you think about the man and his motives, he has been the closest to the truth all the way through the sordid revelations of the past 5 years or so. His reaction to today's New York Times report that Manny Ramirez and David Oritz were both found to be using steroids in 2003-- on the infamous list of 104-- was, in effect, "I'll be surprised when you tell me something I didn't already know." Now of course he was never the teammate of either of the Red Sox stars, but neither was he ever on the same squad as Alex Rodriguez, and he confidently and correctly fingered the Yankee Ripper a while back.
But Jose went on to tell Pedro Gomez that baseball will have a real problem when they discover that a current HOFer was a user. OK-- put two and two together-- and, much as I hate to say it, there is an obvious suspect. Who has gone in from the steroid era? Jim Rice wasn't around when PED use exploded. Gwynn? Never-- just look at him. Ripken? Can't imagine. Molitor? not out of the question, but he was never a power guy and he retired before the late 90s. Same for Yount. And Ozzie Smith. Eddie Murray's career was effectively in its last moments when PED use started to mushroom. Winfield was done. Boggs? He was a singles hitter his whole time.
One of the sad facts about steroids is that it isn't simply a haven for the untalented. In fact, the very attributes that drive someone to be the best-- including pride, ambition and, of course, monetary goals-- can also make them hell-bent to stay there. Even as they age. As they approach records. As they need to recover from the daily grind... the two dozen or more years of playing the game professionally. Isn't it obvious who Jose is fingering here? The one HOFer he would most be in a position to know whether or not that person used? And as we celebrate his ascenion to baseball's highest height, can we really be sure that Rickey was clean??