Today’s News : MLB’s announced it will have statesman George Mitchell lead an investigation into steroid use. Professional scolds John Dowd and Fay Vincent announce that they don’t like it, since their opinions are so important.
This is obvioiusly Selig’s attempt at damage control — by my count, this is the third or fourth time he’s had to deal with “a steroids controversy.” Each time it’s the same story, recycled and pumped full of life by a hypocritical media struggling for viewers and subscribers.
This whole steroids thing is a colossal case of hypocrisy, on all parts: Selig, ownership, management, players, Congress, and media. Even the team trainers are culpable, in my opinion.
Everyone is shocked – shocked that there are steroids in baseball?!? Who honestly didn’t know? In 1996, my buddy told me in 1996 that a lot of the guys in A ball (where he was playing) were on the juice. That was 10 years ago. If he knew, and I knew, you can bet everyone else with access to a major league clubhouse knew.
Everybody knew, but nobody said anything, or even wanted to. Fans didn’t care — they liked the offensive explosion. Selig and the owners liked the money brought in by the increased attendance. The players liked that there was a bigger pie to fight over. Everyone loved (reading and writing) the heartwarming Tale of Sammy & Mark.
Certain members of “The Media” deserve a special dose of contempt – did anyone write an investigative piece on steroids in 1999? 2000? 2001 or 2002? No. It was “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Partly because the system is set up so that writers need daily access from the players; partly because it’s irresponsible (and possibly tortious) to write an article without solid sourcing. That said, someone should’ve tried.
My problem is with the stuff that’s being written now, castigating Selig for looking the other way, (just like the media did), or making Barry Bonds the Boogeyman, when all accounts show him to be one of the last guys to jump on the Steroid Bandwagon.
I just don’t know what this investigation is supposed to accomplish. Lots of guys were juicing, but there was no testing policy or league rule against it. This bell has been rung. It’s time to move on. The media wants its pound of flesh, but I have no clue who’s supposed to supply it.
Baseball history isn’t just numbers, it’s also stories. And even if Barry Bonds gets 756 HRs, there will always be a story that goes with the number. Selig doesn’t need to add an asterisk. Fathers will do it, when they pass the game on to their sons.