"The American people need leaders who will focus on stemming job losses and getting credit to flow in the marketplace before hearing from yet another person who cheated both himself and the game of baseball."
-House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Edolphus Towns (D-NY).
Finally, someone in congress gets it. Now only if the media could follow suit. The same media that is wringing their hands and their necks over Alex Rodriguez's admission that he took performance enhancing drugs from 2001-2003. The same media that seems to be the only people outraged by this news.
Look, baseball fans don't care about who has or hasn't taken steroids. MLB attendance has risen to and remained steady at record levels since the (allegedly, i guess) steroid-induced McGwire/Sosa homerun chase. If attendance falls this year, it will be because of the economy...not because hardcore MLB fans cowered at the thought of their beloved (hah!) A-Rod doing steroids and couldn't bring themselves to purchase tickets and pay for $7.50 beers any longer. No matter how much sportswriters try to make their voice heard as to why this whole era is awful on baseball - because you know, the gambling issues, segregation until 1947, dead ball era, and cocaine problems of the 80's never happened- at the end of the day, us baseball fans want to see dominant performances by our best players. Period.
(Note: This reminds me of visiting NYC with a friend from college a few years back. We were on our way back from a Yankee game (vs. A-Rod and the Rangers...irony!), rode the subway like typical southern tourists, and ended up at a Harlem subway station at 2am. While we waited the 30+ minutes for the next train to come, my friend mentioned that she felt that because baseball has such an American/apple pie/playing-catch-with-your-dad charm to it, it's players should be subjected to harsher penalties to regarding steroids, than say football or basketball players.
Throwing aside the racial connotations to her theory, I quickly told her that comment was iditoic and one of the reasons I mostly try and avoid talking sports with females (OBJ's paramour and Ray-Ray afficianado aside). Little did I know that over the next few years, the sentiments shared by this 20-year-old female who watched maybe fifteen minutes of sports every year would be repeated ad naseum by Mitch Albom, Mike Lupica, Bill Plaschke and their ilk, who have done far more damages to their bodies at buffet tables than Roger Clemens ever has in a training room.)
I get it. The 'sanctity' of baseball has been ruined. Believe me, as much as I hate seeing Sammy Sosa's name up there with Willie Mays' on all-time lists, I still can't get worked up over steroids. It appears the majority of baseball players from roughly 1995-2005ish was using roids, PEDs or some other kind of supplement.
Due process and all that shit, but in this case everyone is guilty until proven innocent. Those folks who find it unfathomable that someone like a Chipper Jones, Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols or any other fan favorite ever touched the stuff is kidding themselves. Nobody is beyond suspicion. Anyone who honestly thinks that Manny Ramirez or Big Papi never dabbled with PED's is not only delusional, but also a Red Sox fan. Sure, I like to think that childhood idols such as Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Griffey Junior and Frank Thomas never juiced (after all, their careers followed the normal pre-steroid superstar arc), but nothing would surprise me at this point....ok, any of those four getting caught would, but nobody, not even Schilling, would shock me anymore.
And ya know what? I still don't care. I, along with most all other fans, will watch baseball all summer and cheer on the Braves and their patchwork outfield. I won't be deterred by A-Rod's PED confession, because I don't care and I neither does any other real baseball fan. I have alot of friends who follow sports, and not one has had their fandom affected in ant way, shape or form by the steroid era in baseball. Gambling problems, segregation, cocaine epidemics, a deadball era...baseball hasn't exactly always been about competing on a level playing field. So why start now?
Fans, players, owners have moved on. It's over, media members. Try not get your panties in a wad over trying to dig up some old Bret Boone photos from the year 2000. It's a shame your ability to get on a high horse is enhanced by the fact you hold the ability to carry your self-righteousness out through Hall-of-Fame ballots; but, whether these alleged perpetrators are voted into the Hall, their exploits on the field will not be forgotten (for better or worse) by baseball fans of this generation. No plaque in Cooperstown or congressional hearing can change that.