Curt Schilling has the right idea when, in the wake of the Alex Rodriguez steroid revelations, he blogs that he'd "be all for the 104 positives being named, and the game moving on."
He's just several years too late.
As Schilling blogs over on 38pitches.com, "In my opinion, if you don't do that, then the other 600-700 players are going to be guilty by association, forever."
That is precisely where the players' union fumbled so badly back in the 1990s and early 2000s:
As Don Fehr, his despicable assistant Gene Orza and the rest of union leadership stonewalled steroid testing because it supposedly violated the players' rights, players who were clean could have -- should have -- banded together and demanded testing.
They should have demanded it for two reasons:
1. What about their rights? There was a distinct competitive disadvantage. Some clean players, who were trying to do it the right way, undoubtedly were losing jobs because they were not using the performance-enhancing drugs that some of their competitors were.
2. As the steroid cloud grew, all players were under its shadow. There has been guilt-by-association now for years.
Schilling was very outspoken on the topic years ago, and good for him. But he did himself and all clean players a disservice when, in front of Congress in 2005, he said of PEDs, "I think while I agree it's a problem, I think the issue was grossly overstated by some people, including myself."
It's good to see Schilling the author writing on this topic on his blog. I'd love it if his influence -- and that of others -- could convince the union to sign off on releasing the entire list of 104 players who failed the PED tests in 2003 (it'll never, ever happen).
But the greater good of the game could have been served far more if this strong concern for the clean players had been voiced far more vociferously years ago by those rank-and-file union members when they had the chance to do something about it.