With spring training under way, the question on every baseball fan's mind is, "Which players took steroids?" In December, a report by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell named more than 80 current and former players who allegedly used steroids or other drugs. Just about everyone believes the list is incomplete.
The way players responded to the allegations provides a lesson to managers who make mistakes. For the few jocks who admitted their steroid use, their reputations seem less damaged than those who repeatedly deny it. After the Mitchell report came out, catcher Gary Bennett said it was "a stupid decision" to cheat and "a mistake." The Los Angeles Dodgers signed him to a one-year contract worth $825,000; their general manager said, "I'm pleased he was straightforward and honest about it."
Players who deny the allegations, such as Roger Clemens, continue to see their reputations suffer as many fans brand them liars amid incriminating circumstantial evidence.
We all make mistakes. When we express sincere contrition, we may earn forgiveness. But if we refuse to take responsibility "and express indignation rather than remorse we risk prolonging the agony.