John Harper of the NY Daily News says that even though no players have come forward to commend Turk Wendell for his ignorant and uninformed comments abour Barry Bonds, behind the scenes, players are really behind him.
Even as Tom Glavine, long a high-profile union activist, was standing at his locker saying he thought Wendell was out of line for his comments, some of his fellow pitchers nearby were practically giggling as they discussed the Wendell-Bonds affair.
How this story qualifies as publishable is beyond me. This is nothing more character assisination. Wendell’s comments were little more than speculation, based on his own ignorant views. Harper’s insinuating column is no different.
And if you were to just read the headline of this John Shea piece, you’d assume Jeff Kent was going after Bonds too, but in reality, he’s singing a much more fair and balanced tune:
Dusty (Baker) said it best the other day when he talked about McCarthyism,” Kent said. “It’s guilt by association, and that’s what the media is doing. How do you know Dusty’s not on it? How do you know I’m not on it? All you know is it’s 10 percent, and I’m rounding that out. But I guarantee you, if you go to every ballplayer, everyone will say no. Guys saying, ‘Oh, test me, test me.’ They’re embarrassing themselves.”
Again, it’s the same kind of yellow journalism. In an article that has a prominent ex-teammate of Bonds essentially defending him and everyone else, the headline is clearly designed to make you think another player is going after him.
Bud Selig has a op-ed piece that essentially outlines a ridiculous, fairy tale plan for a zero tolerance policy towards illegal performance enhancing drugs. Selig has taken the time to convince everyone he’s on the right side of the issue, regardless of facts, actions or reality. I could go on and on about what a lousy commisioner Bud has been, or how he’s followed in Dubya’s footsteps by stealing hundreds of millions of dollars from the taxpayers in Milwaukee to enrich himself and his family; instead, I’ll just mention that his plan has zero chance of ever being enacted. As such, this qualifies as little more than grandstanding during this so called crisis. Once again, he draws attention to the worst aspects of the game, instead of marshalling his resources to clear the names of some of his best players, players who have been unfairly accused of cheating with what amounts to less than circumstantial evidence.
And one of my favorite writers has it all wrong too. Mike Lupica wants everyone to believe he’s just giving it to us straight, but this piece is as full of speculation and insinuation too:
This is hogwash no matter how many misguided people like Dusty Baker, who can get in trouble talking about the weather, yell McCarthyism, or call it a witch hunt. Jeff Kent of the Astros, another beauty, seems to think there should be a “Cold Case” episode on television about whether Babe Ruth was on the juice, back in the day.
But this issue, which goes straight to the integrity of the game and its records, does not go away no matter how hard people try to make the best defense a good offense.
We know for sure that at least 5-7% (and most people believe the number might be higher than that) of the players tested for this stuff last season tested positive.
So now, even though these witch hunters finally got their testing, it’s not enough. Before the tests, it was at least thirty percent, so we have to test. Now the test results are out, and it’s an infintesmal percentage of players, they have to embelish the results, to make sure we know that the tests weren’t gonna work in the first place.
Which is it, Lupica? If you want the tests, stand by the results. No tests, speculation rules. You pick, you can’t have it both ways, no matter how much you hate Barry.
Does Lupica have any idea how easy it is to mess up a test? Does he have any idea that the way tests are put together; there is an already unnatural limit of whatever the test is designed to look for? Is he aware that the players being tested could easily end up like Butch Reynolds, a victim of a policy so strcit as to allow him no ability to clear his name even though the testing organization admitted they screwed up? Does he know that if Olympic athletes had a union, there’d be no testing there either? Does he care about the fact that these players have rights, just like he does? Obviously not.