Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ron Cook and Gene Collier said NO to drugs

With the Internet teeming with news of the publication of the Mitchell Steroid Report, the primary focus of news coverage has been the names of the players confirmed to have links to steroids and Human Growth Hormone:

Kevin Young, how could you? Say it ain't so, Josias Manzanillo!

Easily overlooked is Mitchell's citing of local baseball columnists across the country who sensed the taint of steroids in baseball long before Congressional investigations. None other than the Post-Gazette's Gene Collier is the first to be recognized:
In March 1992, Pittsburgh columnist Gene Collier addressed the perception that baseball was not a sport for steroids users. Collier derided the suggestion that the game of baseball “is simply too complex to be positively augmented by some injectable.”
The report goes on to recount the details of a Ron Cook column a few years later:
In a July 1996 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Ron Cook analyzed the possible explanations for the season of dramatic power hitting. Among other possible reasons, Cook wrote: “There are other factors, to be sure. Hitters are bigger and stronger. (Can you say steroids, ladies and gentlemen).”
The Dee-N congratulates Collier and Cook, who have penned away for years with none of the national recognition that some of their more charismatic brethren receive. Their ability to forsee the incoming influx of performance enhancers into the national pastime is impressive. No Tribune-Review columnists are cited in the Mitchell Report, lending no credence to the rumors that steroids era was a Clintonian ploy to mask then-President Bill's Oval Office misdeeds.

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