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…. Sanctimonious?

Roger Clemens denied using any PED’s — a claim that no one seems ready to believe — and will now have to face the possibility of, what, exactly? If Congress subpoena’s him, we’ll get to see him face those clowns. He could be called into Selig’s office and face that clown. He will lose some HoF votes, as sanctimonious sportswriters will now have the grist they need to grind up another guy who they have deemed less than perfect.

Of course, what choice did Clemens really have? Pettitte admitted that he did use, and look at all the support he’s gotten. For the most part, he’s been given a ration of bullshit for using the “I used it to recover” defense, and no real pass for coming clean, other than the one he got from Mariano Rivera.

What about Torre? Cashman? Steinbrenner? Owners, GM’s, and pretty much everyone else in the front office has gotten a pass, except, of course, trainers; who are being insulted, challenged as liars, criminals, and generally being treated like shit.

Sportswriters know, of course, that if they go after the big guys, they risk losing access to the teams they cover, so they ignore the reality that everyone is culpable.

Of course, if you are willing to open your mind for a moment, I’d ask you to consider the following:

1. Steroids, used under doctor supervision, can be used to help the body recover from the rigors of professional sports, aid training efforts, and enhance the overall health of professional athletes.

2. This use is the future, not just in sports, but throughout any industry that inflicts physical stress to the body of its workers.

3. Punitive measures, aided by criminalization; zero tolerance policies, and government interference will never stop people from gaining access to drugs — or anything — that helps them improve, make more money, and/or be better at their jobs. All they will accomplish is to push use underground, make it more attractive to rebellious teenagers, and prevent medical supervision. In short, these efforts will only serve to worsen the problem, just as the expensive farce that we call the War on Drugs has in the US today.

Keep all of this in mind as you read the sports pages, listen as the talking heads moan and wail and gnash their teeth. It is this climate of sanctimonious, ill-informed gibberish that allows Peter Gammons to call Brian McNamee a “sewer rat” for coming clean about Clemens and Pettitte, while at the same time, continue to question the motives of Greg Anderson for not doing so about Bonds.

This is a story, one that makes sportswriters, sports editors, and ESPN more important than they really are. It is in their interests to cover it as a scandal, to demand honesty and offer none. To call into question any athlete’s words and actions, while being willing to do, say, and write anything they wish in their efforts to sell, sell, sell. It is in their interests to keep the drumbeat of scandal alive.

Listen to the owners, who are telling you everything you need to know. How important are considerations for the athletes health? How important are considerations for the law? How much concern is there for the “sanctity” of the record book? You have heard every answer to every question you have from these men. It is their silence now, their silence for the last decade, for all of the time there has been professional baseball; that is the answer you have to understand first and foremost.

They are interested in seeing the turnstiles click, and whatever it takes to make that happen, is A-OK with them. This is how Peter Magowan can ask but one or two questions about Bonds alleged use, and how Sabean can tell him there’s nothing to worry about. This is how the Yankees can give $118 million dollars to Jason Giambi even though they knew, absolutely knew he was using PED’s.

Save the children? Save the game? Protect the integrity of the records?

These are sucker ploys, designed to distract fools.

$6 billion dollars in revenue a decade after the game was in terrible –contract teams, terrible– financial disarray. If I were Bonds or Clemens or McGwire, I’d just as soon hear somebody say thanks. But, hey, apparently, that’s just me.


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All commentary is the opinion of John J Perricone unless otherwise noted.
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