Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy, is one of those writers that people either love or hate. I don't really belong to either, though if I had to pick one, I'm much closer to love. I read just about every column he writes, and his style of presenting facts interspersed with humorous anecdotes and pop culture references is something that I try to emulate (it should be noted, Simmons didn't invent this style and I wouldn't say he's perfected it, nobody has, but he turned me on to it). Simmons often gets too caught up in his own stories that occasionally detracts from his article and he's often asked to write on things he is not an expert in (only Rick Reilly, a legend in his own right, and Gene Wojciechowski, who sucks, are asked to cover and comment on as many sports as Simmons). Simmons is limited as a hockey (because of his absence from fandom) and baseball (because he only follows the AL) writer. He's a decent football writer. He's an excellent basketball writer; one of the most informed and engaging about the sport. In addition to his writings, he's a very funny and entertaining podcaster.
Really, this has little to do with why I'm posting, I just felt like I should give some background on my views of the man. The reason I'm posting is Simmons' recent article posted online and to appear in the June 29 issue of ESPN the Magazine. Here is the article. It's a very interesting examination of baseball and the "purity" issue that is so frequently brought up during conversations about steroids. I believe it also provides an interesting commentary on the pious nature of the sports fan; that is, they should stop freaking out about steroids. The problem is being address through tougher testing and more legitimate enforcement. No era of baseball is fully clean.
Also it's funny that the Red Sox' first black player was named "Pumpsie." That is great stuff. And if you disagree, I will kill you.