10 Questions With Richard Justice
1. Pitchers and Catchers
Posted On 05.17, 2013
RCS: Pitchers and catchers report this week. As the guy Tony Kornheiser once called the best baseball beat reporter in America, despite the news surrounding it, is there any more anticipated time of the year for you?
Justice: I do love this time of the year. At least I've loved it in the past.
This week's news has changed the focus a bit, has reminded me that steroids is going to be a mushroom cloud over the game for years to come. Steroids haven’t hurt the game in any financial sense, but it's a shame and an embarrassment. It's a shame because the union and owners were so slow to react. I don't believe there was a conspiracy to grow the game on steroids. People say you can connect the dots through various news stories. You can only do that looking back on it. I saw those Oakland teams hiring nutritionists, lifting weights, getting bigger and hitting more home runs. I didn't understand what else might be going on.
But it's not a gray area. If you used steroids, you're breaking the law, and a lot of guys thought they were above the law. I liked what A-Rod said about the culture of those times. He couldn't have been more right. So I love the optimism of the early days of spring training, but I'm distracted by all this other stuff. Selig thought the Mitchell Report would bring some closure to the steroids era. It's clear there's not going to be closure for a long, long time.