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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Steroids: what did we learn yesterday?

After 10-12 hours of coverage by ESPN, MLB Network, etc. former players and media types will say just about every stupid thing imaginable and repeat even more from others.  The herding instinct prevailed and we heard the self righteous.

Harold Reynolds amid his mind boggling ability to mangle both his thoughts and the English language actually made a good point.  That's about one out of 1,000 yesterday.  He mentioned that 15-20 years ago when the steroid thing was gaining momentum there was no twitter to provide an immediate medium for players to run their mouths.

Nick Markakis joined former commissioner Faye Vincent in calling for a baseball death sentence for a first offense.  I guess they never heard of a false positive.  Even Curt Schilling mentioned that remote possibility as a reason to oppose death on first offense.  Schilling said that one person getting two false positive test results seemed remote enough to support death on second offense.  I'm guessing this does not apply to Ian Kennedy hitting two Dodgers in the head in the same June 11 game.  Kennedy received a one start suspension.  You think priorities are off?

Do you think Markakis wants death on first offense applied to his teammate Chris Davis in the extremely unlikely event that Davis failed a test for performance enhancing drugs (PED)?  It's unlikely, not because there isn't plenty of circumstantial evidence to suspect Davis, but because lost in all the hyperventilating yesterday was the fact that nether Alex Rodriguez nor any of the other 12 players suspended yesterday failed a drug test.  The program lauded by Major Baseball League (MBL) commissioner Allen Huber "Bud" Selig failed miserably to catch any of the players punished yesterday.  The only thing that outed them was one sleazy Florida guy exacting revenge on another sleazy Florida guy over a bad $4,000 investment in a sleazy Florida drug-front clinic.  True, Buddy's Boys pounced and paid for evidence and testimony to achieve their goal of humiliating Alex Rodriguez but it was initiated by chance.

Chris Davis is 27 years old.  He has 40 home runs (HR) in only 403 at bats (AB).  Prior to this season Davis had 77 HR in 1,520 AB, including 33 HR in 515 AB in 2012.  Davis is homering in one of ten AB this season.  With 600 AB Davis would hit 60 HR.  Gee, that's the old record for 154 games set by Babe Ruth in 1927.

I've been attacking the hypocrites but spared Rodriguez so far from the bashing he deserves.  I believe in punishment for stupidity.  With all his money how could Rodriguez have been so stupid?  He could have afforded a much better supplier.  Even Barry Bonds got his stuff from better sleaze bags at that Balco drug dispensary in San Francisco.  After confessing in 2009 why would Rodriguez be so stupid and immoral as to repeat the cycle all over again?  Was he that insecure or did he actually need the PED to reach ever decreasing levels of achievement?  Did Rodriguez need PED just to take the field?

I'll write a separate post on various A-Rod scenarios but Alex Rodriguez is by far the biggest name in this episode.  I don't think the use of PED is such a big deal.  After all, the football players use them and we don't care.  But the baseball players care and I'm referring to the players who were punished yesterday.  Some expressed remorse but all tried to hide their activities, which displays a consciousness of guilt.  None showed that more than Alex Rodriguez.  If he thinks he did something that he should hide, then he did something that was wrong.

For Alex Rodriguez, as for all of us, contrition must precede absolution.

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