It's been discussed for days now about how a San Francisco Giants fan wrote an open letter to Rob Manfred asking him to put an asterisk on Alex Rodriguez's 660 home run if he hits it to tie baseball great Willie Mays. While I understand what the fan is trying to do, I don't think something like that would ever happen. By the way, here's that letter:
I found it very interesting, and you know I'm a die hard baseball fan and I love my Yankees. I also respect the history of the game and the players and all of that. You also know by now that I'm not an ARod fan. I say all that because I was recently reminded about the time Willie Mays was accused of supplying amphetamines in the New York Mets locker room. Don't know what I mean? Oh yeah, it was a big deal, for a brief moment back in the 80's and nothing ever came of it, but I was able to find the LA Times article written back in 1985.
"John Milner testified Thursday in a federal cocaine trafficking trial.The former Met said his first introduction to a liquid amphetamine called "red juice" was from a bottle he took from Mays' locker... 'Management wasn't giving me greenies or red juice or speed--Willie had the red juice,' Milner said. He added, however, that he had not seen Mays take amphetamines.
(In Photo: John Milner)
Mays, who joined the Mets in 1972, said that his locker 'was an open book. Anybody could go into my locker because I never had anything to hide.' As to whether he ever used "red juice" or any stimulant, Mays said: 'My record speaks for itself. I never missed a game for misusing my body. I'm 54 right now and I'm in fairly good shape. I could never have played like I did if I'd misused my body.'"
John Milner was a former teammate of Mays and got himself into trouble. It was pretty ridiculous that he'd even drag Mays into his own mess... but he did. It didn't stick.
I only bring this up because fandom is a fascinating thing to me. With all this PEDs talk these days, we tend to forget that for years in clubhouses there were clouds of suspicion. We've heard the stories of "bowls of greenies" players would take in locker rooms and there were alot of other suspicious stuff going on. The reality is, Willie Mays was truly great, and I believed him then when he said he didn't misuse his body.
Then again, I believed Rafael Palmeiro when he testified he never used either. You remember how that worked out.
Mays never used and no one ever did, or needed to do an investigation into Mays, probably because Willie Mays is the greatest, hands down. But these days, everyone is under a microscope and under suspicion, hence, no one believes any of these players these days either.
Plus, even after all the Alex Rodriguez stuff, the Ryan Braun stuff, players like Ervin Santana are still getting suspending for 80 games for an illegal substance. How unbelievable is that? You would think these players would learn, but they don't, because they don't even know what they're putting into their bodies.
Am I accusing Willie of anything? No way, but when I saw that Open letter about ARod, the home run chase and Willie Mays, it brought me back to the 80's. It was something I had to go back and look up, that's all. The suspicions... the accusations... that's always been going on. These days though, it's much, much more intense, that's all.
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