Sport: Baseball Takes A Hit

A steroid probe involving top players threatens to blight the game, anger fans and alter record books

When Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's home-run record in 1961, commissioner Ford Frick ruled that because Maris' season was eight games longer than Ruth's had been, the new record deserved an asterisk. Today fans wonder whether the slugging records of recent years will require similar caveats because of charges that top players have used anabolic steroids to help them turn fly balls into moon shots.

A steroid asterisk? Call it an asteroid.

And it could soon strike Earth, ruining what should be baseball's blithest month. Spring training is a time for hope, not dread; every team is tied for first,...

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