A drawn out process ends, but just for now
I don’t really care how long they end up suspending Alex Rodriguez for, I’m just glad this never-ending sorry saga might come to an end today.
Even if all the reports that say the suspension is coming down around noon today (and I have no doubt that they’re correct), if there are endless appeals this thing is going to drag on for weeks, I fear.
I understand baseball’s desire to rid the game of drug cheats, it’s a noble if Pollyannish pursuit to level the playing field, but there are a couple of things I don’t get.
Things may become more clear once officials talk on the record and do some ‘splainin’ but that they seem to have totally singled out Rodriguez for a more harsh penalty kind of gets to me and whole process of somewhat second-hand information from someone with an axe to grind and deal to be struck sticks in my craw a bit.
Don’t get me wrong, taking performance enhancing drugs is wrong cheaters should be penalized, let’s get that clear.
It’s not only the game they are cheating and by extension the fans and their teammates, it’s everyone connected with the game. Any game.
There’s an interesting quote in this story from C.J. Wilson of the Dodgers:
"The home runs that are hit because a guy's on performance-enhancing substances, those ruin somebody's ERA, which ruins their arbitration case, which ruins their salary. So it's a whole domino effect."
That’s not to be diminished, there’s a far-reaching impact that strikes sports at its very core when this stuff goes on.
I remember having pretty much the exact same conversation with Sam Mitchell on a couple of occasions, that not working as hard as humanly possible to rid games of drug cheats opens the door for some kind off odd peer pressure where the next guy might feel compelled to go along to protect his job, his money, the life he earned.
And here’s one more that I wonder about, and I was wondering about it long before I read Ben’s so-thorough Associated Press piece.
What about the teams?
How complicit are they in this? I’m not saying force anybody to put anything illegal in their bodies, that makes no sense. But the pressure they put on with the money they pay has to, for some people at least, lead them to investigate ways – legal and illegal – to get better and richer, doesn’t it?
And now could the Yankees – and every other team that has a player suspended – reap some kind of financial benefit that will simply allow them to go on, undisturbed, despite being in some small way responsible?
There are so many levels to these kinds of stories that we could sit around for hours talking about each of them and I think we’d finally come to the one resolution that I simply cannot get out of my mind:
With so much at stake, isn’t it always going to be a vicious circle?
Aren’t there always going to be people who try to get ahead by whatever means for whatever reason and won’t there always be people trying to catch them.
I don’t imagine this latest round of suspensions will rid baseball of any more PED scandals, just like I don’t think the recent track bans are going to have any long-lasting impact on that sport.
I’m not sure there is an answer, is there?
It’s folly to hope that all of sudden everyone will become altruistic and play the games cleanly and on an even playing field and for the love of the game.
I’m not sure there’s a punishment harsh enough, or a threat great enough, to rid sports of this plague; it’s the times in which we live.
I’m full of surprises, aren’t I?
Yep, they got way down the list again and as long as the CRTC has no last-minute objections, it’s the 5-7 round table on Sportsnet FAN590 for me tonight.
Hope all you folks stuck in traffic or with no lives can listen in.
You folks are pretty good.
Way back when the notion of “re-branding” the HOTH came up, the Tall Foreheads at our place figured it’d be kind of cool to ask the readers to do the work for them.
Now, for some reason known only to the TFs, they had me join a fashion designer and Amir Johnson in “judging” them and since I was pretty much the brown shoes at that black-tie affair, I should probably be absolved of all responsibility.
But you’ll get to see the fruits of our labour – and yours – later on today (not sure what time but it’s a print and video bonanza) and I will only tell you this:
Fewer of you wanted to change the name than I expected and a lot of you are really talented.
As you may recall, I don’t pay a lot of attention to a lot of golf outside of the majors so it wasn’t as if I was paying rapt attention on the weekend.
But I did see enough of Tiger to know this:
He might be the greatest front-runner the game has known and while we all should marvel at his prodigious talent, I more appreciate a guy who comes charging from behind to win repeatedly.
There’s far more drama in that and drama is what makes for compelling sports.
And finally, you Ontarians know this dude?
Happy Simcoe Day.
And happy whatever day it is wherever you are. It’s a relatively lowly-regarded holiday but I bet a bunch of you are happy for the extra day off.