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…. WAKE UP!

This is getting ridiculous:

…. Major League Baseball was jarred by a New York Daily News report that St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Rick Ankiel had received a one-year supply of human growth hormone in 2004 from the same drug distribution ring. Ankiel had been the game’s feel-good story of the summer. A talented young pitcher whose career abruptly imploded in 2000, he re-emerged this season as a slugging outfielder who hit nine home runs in 23 games since being called up from the minors in August.

Ankiel told reporters Friday night in Phoenix that any drugs he received in 2004 were prescribed by a licensed physician to aid in his recovery from elbow surgery.

“A real sad development,” former baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent said. Ankiel “was a remarkable story. I’m very sad. It’s not totally surprising. What’s surprising is the names of the particular individuals. In that way, it saddens me but doesn’t surprise me.”

Man, Fay Vincent must sit around and watch paint dry. He pretty much can’t wait for another baseball player to get his name linked to PED’s so he can remind everyone that he knew this was gonna happen, and what a fucking terrible Greek tragedy it all is. Thanks, Fay. Now, go back to being right about everything and shut the fuck up.

These self-appointed moral compasses need to face reality. PED’s are here to stay, –just as recreational drugs are– and ham-handed efforts to legislate against them are doomed to failure. Face the facts, stop pretending that it matters, stop acting like athletes using modern medicine to maximize their talents is such a crisis; and accept reality.

All of the hand-wringing about Rick Ankiel’s heart-warming story being tainted is just as poorly thought-out and morally bankrupt as putting millions of Americans in federal prison for smoking pot. There is no way you will be able to stop athletes from using any and all means to achieve their ends. NO WAY. Stop wasting time, get off your soapbox, and grow the fuck up.

Ankiel did what I would have done, what anyone would have done when faced with the very real possibility that your dream was dying; anything to prevent that from happening. Bonds did whatever he could to get the most of his talent, to condemn him is absurd.

McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Ankiel, Glaus, Palmeiro, Giambi…. as the list of players who have “fallen from grace” continues to grow, I keep waiting for everyone to wake up and realize that PED’s have been part of the sports landscape for decades, and stop acting so amazed and disappointed. WAKE UP!

It’s not the end of the world, it’s nothing. It’s of no consequence, it won’t make or break anything, it doesn’t mean that you can’t save the children. Kids use drugs? Really? Kids do all kinds of things, with or without supervision, permission, or full understanding of the risks involved. It’s called growing up. A child will listen to an adult, a teenager will not. They will do whatever they want, and you cannot stop them. No athlete is gonna make a difference in whether a teenager does or doesn’t do drugs, or drink, or drive too fast. Anyone who thinks so is a child. And anyone who thinks that their son did steroids because Barry Bonds said it was OK is a fucking moron.

That’s not how the world works, and sportswriters continuing to propogate the myth of the athlete hero need to get their heads out of their collective asses. WAKE UP. Cover the fucking games, and stop telling us how we’re disappointed in what some athlete –who lives in a world that we cannot even begin to comprehend– does or doesn’t do to prepare for their job.

Truck drivers use speed, so do plumbers, sheetrockers, maids, salesmen, and just about any other worker you can imagine. Guys in my trade, carpenters, use painkillers, smoke weed, do whatever they can to get out there and earn their paychecks. They don’t give a shit what you think about it, they are doing what they need to to get by, to stay in the game.

To hold athletes to one standard –a standard that no one else is held to– is absurd, and wrong. Get a grip.


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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
None of the opinions expressed should be construed as being endorsed by the
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