Jim Parque Comes Clean; He Was Dirty

When people think of the Steroid Era in baseball, they will likely think of bulky power hitters launching mammoth home run bombs even NASA struggled to track down. They will look at guys like Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and other (allegedly) juiced-up and souped-up sluggers and consider them to be the Mount Rushmore of PED pushers.

But other than Roger Clemens' (alleged) use of performance enhancing substances, pitchers are commonly overlooked when it comes to this era of infidelity. That is, until former White Sox pitcher Jim Parque confessed to his use of performance enhancing drugs in an exclusive first-person story in the Chicago Sun-Times.

In the piece, Parque said he first admitted to substance abuse in 2006 while talking to approximately 100 youngsters about its perils and the pressure that comes with it. I don't want to take awaay from the read, but I will leave you with this excerpt:

"HGH was not banned by Major League Baseball when I ordered it. It was controversial and unethical, but it was not banned."

There, my friends, fans, and fellow readers, is the big asterik when it comes to this era. HGH was frowned upon, but not punishable. Kind of like having several girlfriends, except Joey Greco isn't stalking you in an unmarked white van with black-clad, video-camera wielding nerds searching for answers.

Parque proves that it wasn't just the Incredible Hulk-like hitters beneffiting from this. When mediocre pitchers like Parque confess their wrong doing, one of those "what came first, chicken or the egg" scenarios pops into my head.

Was it pitchers juicing in an attempt to catch up to big, beefy batters or was it the hitters trying to get an edge over hopped-up hurlers? And while the world will never know, the only thing for certain is that the black cloud that looms over Bud Selig and the rest of baseball's collective heads is not going away any time soon.

If ever.

Ex-Sox Pitcher Jim Parque Confesses: Why I Juiced [Chicago Sun-Times]