So, Marchman posts a link to a guy who claims to have a list of the 2003 drug test failures. Then Jay wonders whether Marchman posting the link is a hypocritical move based on stuff Marchman has said in the past about trafficking in this kind of stuff. I scanned through the list quickly, and then, just as I was trying to figure out whether I would be committing any ethical violation by linking to it, it disappears.
So to sum up: we have an intermittently invisible list of unsubstantiated names creating a hypothetical blogger ethics problem.
In other words, just another day at the office in the steroids era.
UPDATE: I was able to get the list again, but I personally don’t feel comfortable reproducing it unless and until it has some sort of confirmation. If you’re really curious you can work your way through the above links and try your luck with the wonky link to the actual names. My only comment: if the list is accurate, there are maybe 2-3 names on it that will raise an eyebrow but no one (I don’t think, anyway) whose name on the list will cause anyone to alter their perception of baseball history or anything. I think the biggest surprise is the number of fat and out of shape guys listed. The sort of names who make you wonder whether PEDs actually do anything for anyone.
UPDATE II: It’s been suggested by those who have seen the list that I am perhaps underselling the names on it. I think there’s some truth to that. My point, though, wasn’t that there aren’t big names. There clearly are. It’s that there are very few names who would surprise you if someone told you today that they used steroids. Only one seems like both a big name and a surprise in that regard. That’s all I meant.
That said: I am not going to link it and I’m not going to discuss any names on it unless and until there is some confirmation. For what it’s worth, though I’m not a reporter, I’m seeking some at the moment.
UPDATE III: Still not discussing names ON the list, but MatthewA makes a good point in the comments: Jason Grimsley’s name is NOT on the list, and by all accounts it should be. We’ll see what shakes out of all of this, but that omission is a major blow to the list’s credibility.
UPDATE IV: Further basis for doubt, from reader Peter:
The list is obviously in Divisional order going from East to West, AL to NL – but testing was reportedly random, a few players at a time, and over the course of the season. So tests would be stored either in the order they were tested or in some other easily sortable data model – like alphabetical ordering, or something that made any empirical sense. This list is a guy who went through the rosters of each team, picked out the names he thought sounded good, and pruned it down to the number he wanted. And there aren’t NEARLY enough fringe players here – we’ve heard repeatedly that the pressure is for people to take drugs to make the leap to the show.
you shouldn’t have to be a lawyer to have a little sense of prudence.
Good point, though it’s possible that either (a) the person who got it was working from a hard copy and sorted it or (b) the list was at one point compiled in team order for reporting back purposes, be it to union reps or the ballclubs, or what have you. That said, yes, prudence and skepticism is in order.
UPDATE V: I have spoken with someone who is definitely in a position to know about the veracity of the list and that person says — definitively — that the list is a fake. There are multiple names that aren’t on it that would be if this was the real McCoy and vice-versa.
Case closed. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to beat the living crap out of the blogger who made it up. It’s rough out here for a blogger, and we sure as hell don’t need anyone else doing things to discredit the medium.