Thursday, March 10, 2005The Baseball Apology Network....
Baseball writers are an interesting bunch. They are very loyal to their spot, extremely loyal and unfortunately it's become a fault because often they are willing to defend baseball from ANYTHING.
Take this subpeona situation for a second. I thought this was a fairly good situation for the sport. Bring up some players, ask some questions and voila, the necessary steps will be taken to rid steroids from the sport
Sidenote: Despite how I occasionally word it, I think steroids are a problem and they are bad. I don't blame the MLB's steroid situation for what happens in high schools and colleges because, frankly, at some point people have to be responsible for the shit they put in their bodies. However I feel like all cheating in sports is bad and I group steroids with any other cheating method out there.
Anyway, I've come to realize that maybe baseball isn't so keen on this who Congressional hearing and there are a few reasons why.
- The union can't run this show. The U.S. Government (whether we agree with its methods or not) isn't going to be bullied by Donald Fehr.
- The players are used to the union saving their asses.
- The sport wants time to see if its half-assed way of curbing steroids (the ol, four strikes and you're almost out policy) will actually work. It won't.
- The players will have to tell the truth.
And therein lies the problem. Frank Thomas will go under oath and say he didn't use steroids. He's got no problem with this and has long been for the banning of steroids. [Tribune]. Curt Schilling, another outspoken advocate of banning steroids, will go under oath and testify without an issue. [Herald]
Jose Canseco, a.k.a. the Godfather of Steroids (I'll get into that another time) is also a happy member of the cause. Hell he'll describe how one shoots up properly and still gets to bang half the Spice Girls. Canseco has already proved he doesn't have any problem going in the public and bragging about his lifestyle.
But everyone else has an issue. Jayson Stark whines that it just isn't fair that poor, little baseball gets picked on while the track and football athletes get away scot free.
Well that's not true, the track athletes aren't getting subpeonaed because they are too busy serving suspensions. In the U.S. Track and Field world, an athlete doesn't even need absolute proof against them to be suspended for two years. Hell the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency did a number on Marion Jones without any sort of hearings, press conferences, investigations or anything. They just put her out in the public and made her deny allegations they didn't have any proof of. That's pretty brilliant.
Stark even goes as far to question Congress' motives [ESPN.com]
They may tell us they're removing clouds from a sport they love, and that they're saving our children from the evils of steroids. But isn't there a voice inside all of our heads that wonders if that's really what this is about?
Oooo (raises hand) me...me... I think the U.S. Government is doing this to put baseball in its place once again, especially the Union. They've given Selig, Fehr and their respective cronies plenty of time to solve the problem themselves. But they ignored the FBI reports in 1994 and the questions brought up during the Sosa/McGwire chase in 1998. Also they are doing this because despite whatever testing baseball has decided to ignore over the last 30 years, it's a known fact that steroids are ILLEGAL.
Here's what U.S. Represenive Cliff Stearns said to further knock home that point. [Miami Herald]
"Our elite athletic organizations, both professional and amateur, should establish uniform, world-class, drug-testing standards that are as consistent and robust as our criminal laws in this area."
Consitency across the board. It sounds nice but in case you didn't notice the difference between the Royals and the Yankees, baseball's always been against parity.