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.

8 Responses

  1. Chad

    I agree one hundred percent.

    One hundred percent.

  2. Pinski

    Exactly,
    Notice he didn’t do anything until AFTER sponsors started backing out of Bonds homerun race.
    Also did anyone else notice how totally vague he was. Mitchell’s job is to focus on BALCO (and maybe other stuff) and whether peopler were cheating after 2002 (and maybe before if he needs it to prove that they were cheating after 02). So is this really an investigation of anything other than BALCO? Because if the target is Barry Bonds, thats flipping ridiculous. Barry Bonds might be the face, but he certainly isn’t the only guy, heck enough antedoctal evidence can be gathered together to blame Bags and the Astros organization, see this. So baseball either should do it right, which means leaving no stone unturned, form Lenny Dykstra to Benito Santiago and Alex Sanchez. OR do absolutely nothing and just worry about the future because fixing blame and digging that far back is near impossible.

    Oh and did anyone else listen hear Orel talking about this during the Reds game. He came the closest anyone in the inner circle has come to saying the baseball writers knew/should have known but did nothing.

  3. Brian B.

    I don’t agree that the writer looked the other way. What do they have to gain by hiding it? Maybe they didn’t have enough to go on and didn’t want to threaten their careers with some accusations. But still, don’t forget the writers jumped all over McGwire’s little bottle of andro in his locker back in ’98.

    I can’t stand how Selig acts like it’s all news to him every time the mainstream public gets some new information. And now he’s “leading” the charge to investigate what happened in the sport as far back as . . . uh, last week?

    It’s a joke.

  4. Ken

    This really is a joke. Selig does nothing but react – to Congress, to Game of Shadows, to the owners. A leader he’s not.

  5. Pinski

    At that point in time who was covering the McGwire thing? Everyone under the sun. Not just the normal beat reporters, remember Big Mac was moaning about all the media being in his grill. How long do you think that stuff was in his locker? The normal beat reporters know they have no chance to work in the industry again if they appear to attack any player, the inner circle will just throw them out.

  6. Glenn

    Baseball should have done something about the obvious use of steroids years ago. You guys are right. Selig is in damage control mode, reacting to Congress and now balky sponsors.
    I assume that if Selig were to suspend Bonds or any other active player he believes was using steroids prior to the new agreement with the players, he’ll do it under the best interests of baseball clause on the commissioner’s powers list.
    Its been illegal in the U.S. to manufacture, distribute or possess these drugs for over 20 years. If baseball were serious about cleaning up the game the commissioner could have done something about it based on the fact that these players were violating U.S. law. (If they had been involved in a nationwide car theft ring he would have done something!) However, baseball fans love the long ball and sponsors as well as fans were bringing their wallets to the ballpark.
    Now that is obvious that by his non action Selig was complicent (sp) in the arrival of the “juiced era”, he’s trying to get ahead of this. Its not going to work. This will be a stain on Selig’s reputation for years after he’s gone.

  7. Glenn

    Chris,
    I see your point, but as you said speeding is not that great of a comparison. I also don’t think 2/3 of the league was ever using steroids, but I think we’re both substantially on the same page.
    You make a good point. Now after Selig sat back and looked the other way while all this was happening, what’s the solution. I don’t see a good one. The same guy, who bears much of the blame to begin with is now trying to solve the problem and salvage his own reputation. Whatever decision he makes will create new, and even more complicated problems. Does he make Bonds the fallguy for the juiced generation? That would not be fair, but it looks like its heading that way. Big Mac and Sosa were putting butts in the seats. Now that they are an embarassment, Selig has turned on them.
    This is the same guy that thought it was ok for the All Star game to end in a tie. This is a narrow course and I don’t trust his wisdom. He’s just going to make it worse.

    Selig didn’t do the right thing back in the day because the wrong thing to do was more profitable. Chris is absolutely right, Fathers will be trying to explain this to thier sons for the next couple of generations.

    BTW: Is Speeing sort of like, really fast peeing?:grin:

  8. Mark T

    I think in the end, with no way to nail anyone except Bonds, it won’t necessarily be swept under the rug, but will be left in the court of public opinion. People like McGuire might not make the Hall of Fame even though not officially punished by baseball. And I think that’s a good thing – bottom line for me is that these guys’ performances cannot be fairly compared to the outstanding accomplishments of non-juiced players of the past.