So there’s a website out there which purports to have the list of the 2003 drug test failures -- the same list that gave us Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa. We’re not linking it or reproducing the names listed there because it’s a fake. That fact was confirmed this morning by a source who is definitely in a position to know. Anyone who gives it any credence going forward is trafficking in baloney.
But you know what? We kind of suspected that it was fake beforehand. Why? Because for starters, the site running it -- something called “Roto Info” -- has zero reputation as a reliable news source. Really zero -- before now it has never to our knowledge reported anything, be it good, bad or indifferent. Now it is shown to be untrustworthy, lazy and irresponsible. For the moment let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they were merely passing this along as opposed to having created it themselves. Even then, posting it with a weak “unconfirmed” disclaimer as they did here does not get the job done. Most bloggers have day jobs yet still manage to get off their butts and get this stuff right. “Roto Info” should be no different. The lesson: get your roto info from Rotoworld.
Second, the list consists of an overwhelming number of bigger names and very few scrubs. This flies in the face of the information we have learned from the Mitchell Report, the Radomski and McNamee business and the testing results that have been made public since 2003. Where are the Marvin Bernards, Tim Lakers, Josias Manzanillos, Matt Francos, and Adam Piatts of the world? Steroids are equal-opportunity, and the fact that this list is almost entirely devoid of 23rd-25th roster slots puts lie to any notion of legitimacy.
Third, the names are listed in team order, by division, going from east to west, AL to NL. On the eve of the Mitchell Report there was another fake list like this one. It was in alphabetical order, and looked fishy for the same reasons. While this isn’t necessarily suspicious in and of itself -- we can conceive of some reasons why the list could take on such an order -- it suggests someone being a little more methodical about it than might appear in nature.
Finally, and perhaps most damningly, Jason Grimsley’s name is not on the list, and by all accounts it should be. Indeed, our source’s debunking of this list specifically mentioned Grimsley’s absence, and the absence of other known-positives, as the clincher of its fraudulent nature.
If and when the real list ever surfaces, you can bet that we’ll be on top of it. You can also bet that we’ll confirm it first. In the meantime, we’ll be busy throttling the blogger who ran this nonsense for doing even more to discredit the medium than has already been done.