A wide sigh of relief can be heard all across the baseball world. "Thank heavens Mark McGwire fell on his sword!" cheaters of all stripe exclaim. The noble slugger's admissions of guilt on national (but not international, goddammit) TV will finally put this issue to rest, once and for all. What will life be like in this brave new world? Who &mdash other than Bud Selig, Bob Costas, MLB Network execs, Tony LaRussa, Bud Selig again, Todd McFarlane, and Mark McGwire &mdash stands to profit from the Kabuki Theatre of Tears?
Why all the aging free agents negatively associated with the PED curse! There are so many old and questionable sluggers kicking around; one could (with an assist from Cot's Contracts) field an entire team with them! Many of these guys haven't officially been caught up in the PED storm, they're just one-dimensional enough that GMs the league over are running in the other direction of your aging Three True Outcomers. If you would so kind:
Catcher Rod Barajas. With 50% of the Molinas of the Deep signed and the other 50% completely bereft at the plate, Barajas and his 22 dingers remain unemployed. Barajas staged his finest season with the Texas Rangers in 2004, one of the most dubious clubhouses of the last decade. Barajas is likely to claim his Type B free agent status keeps him unemployed; the smart money is on his paltry .258 on base percentage in 2009.
First Base Jim Thome. Due to excessive burliness from day one, Jimmers avoided a lot of heavy steroid speculation. Baseball's GMs still seem reluctant to sign the tater jammer. Word leaked this week of interest from the Twins and Tigers. What team could use a dong smackin' farmboy to lighten the mood? Every team, that's who.
Second Base Miguel Cairo. Miguel Cairo may not possess the eye-popping numbers of a traditional steroid abuser, but the man's been DFA'd on three separate occasions over his careers. He, clearly, is a zombie. Only the wackiest, craziest kind of horse semen-extracts can bring you back from the dead that many times.
Short Stop The Orioles taking Miguel Tejada off the board (and presumably putting him back on the B12) means the axe falls on Orlando Cabrera. Despite figuring into 10 different teams "Player of the Decade" conversation; Orlando the misanthrope is looking for work once again. Only drugs make a man as testy and confrontational as O-Cab's become. Drugs or the search for more drugs. Or the search for quality tamales while on drugs.
Third Base Melvin Mora. Mora's the kind of guy known for being a dick and a piss-poor fielder just as much as suspected drug user. It's tough to know what to make of Mora, a guy who somehow lacks and/or lost the so-called "old player skills" as he aged. His walk rate is suddenly half what it once was while his power numbers slip slide away. None the less, somebody will give Mora a job so there's hope for a dugout fight somewhere this year!
The Outfield Jermaine Dye, Garret Anderson, Randy Winn. I honestly don't think any of these guys are connected to drugs in any way, shape, or form; they're just the best of a large crop of aging guys who were long overpaid. Now, they're unemployed. The deterioration of their skills by the ravages of age and the unwillingness to take a massive pay cut leaves them on the sidelines, likely until camps open. NO OTHER REASON. There just isn't a market for poor fielding guys with dwindling power or good fielding guys without too much else to go on.