Baltimore Orioles slugger, Rafael Palmeiro, was suspended Monday for 10 days after being found in violation of baseball’s more stringent anti-steroid policy. Over 3000 career hits, a whopping 569 home runs and now all of that is about as meaningful as the next Lindsay Lohan movie.
This suspension comes at a bad time for the Orioles, who are slowly fading in the AL East pennant race. Palmeiro’s .280 average, 18 homers and 59 RBI will be sorely missed for the next 10 days.
And remember that it was Raffy who vehemently denied steroid use at the Senate steroid hearings. It was Palmeiro who sat with Jose Conseco at the hearings and called him a liar. But guess what? Conseco wasn’t lying. In fact, he might have been more right than we’ll ever know.
Palmeiro came out and apologized after he was given his punishment. He claimed that the arbitrator had seen “compelling evidence” that all of this was just a mistake. Even so, Palmeiro has earned himself a 10-day break from playing the sport he loves.
But Palmeiro will be earning himself no breaks in the court of public opinion. Raffy had the chance to be remembered as a great slugger with a sweet swing, a player who had a reservation at Cooperstown. Now he’s worse off than Alex Sanchez, baseball’s first steroid offender. No one cares about Sanchez, a journeyman outfielder with no pop in his bat. Rafael Palmeiro is a future Hall of Famer. Or at least, he was before Monday.