11 Feb

hitting close to home

Adam Piatt’s name was back in the news the past couple days. The former Mississippi State standout and ex-big leaguer was the player who provided Miguel Tejada with banned performance-enhancing drugs in 2003 when they were teammates in Oakland. Tejada, now with the Houston Astros, pleaded guilty today in federal court to misleading Congress about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Piatt, whose big league career consisted of 521 at-bats and 16 home runs before retirement in 2004, came clean on his involvement with steroids — and with Tejada — in the 2007 Mitchell Report. Others should have followed Piatt’s lead. And they still can. Baseball would be better for it. The Mitchell Report hit close to home when the names of players found to be connected with steroids were revealed. It was disturbing to see several with Mississippi ties on the list, including former Jackson Mets Mark Carreon, Chris Donnels, Lenny Dykstra and Todd Hundley, ex-Southern Miss star Kevin Young, Copiah-Lincoln alumnus Nook Logan and, of course, former MSU standout Rafael Palmeiro, who had failed a drug test in 2005. Only Logan was still playing from among that group in 2007; he was in an independent league last year. Baseball will survive this mess. It has survived all manner of things, from the Black Sox to artificial turf to free agency to the cocaine scandal of the 1980s. But that doesn’t make this any easier to digest.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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