its very interesting watching the entire ESPN Gammons/Arod interview.. the press for some reason is only focusing on the first minute but there's another 29 minutes...and there's a lot of interesting things said!....it does seem pretty clear Arod did take stuff and it also seems clear that he's a pretty smart guy and knows how to "talk" and how to say he's sorry..too bad for him no one is even remotely interested in what he has to say.. All the columns and reactions are of the immature "BURN HIM!" variety...his credibility may be shot but if people are really as intersted as these poseur journalists say they are about the game of baseball perhaps they could actually watch the interview.. you can learn a lot not only from what he says but from what he doesn't say....and how he says things...
maradona (argentine soccer great) had a very interesting phrase years ago (he's always coming up with these phrases) "la pelota no se mancha" (ie., "you can't stain the ball" ..Meaning you can't "stain" the sport of soccer no matter what you as an individual may do.. the sport is the sport.....i'm not sure why US sports "journalists" are so bent in trying to turn this into a "baseball is ruined" thing... to me the fact that there was an era where steroid use became more widespread doesn't mean baseball is not a great game.. it doesn't mean that those games we watched weren't enjoyable..it doesn't mean that every home run these guys hit they wouldn't have hit...or even that the summer of 98 wasn't fun!....The fact that records/stats- such an integral part of the game- have been turned on their head is very unfortunate but it is what it is and what was WAS...
I'm not sure why no one is trying to be a bit more positive... its a race to the bottom really.... I mean if we love baseball as much as these journalists say we do then why do we want to act as if the game is now worthless because some players used certain substances...even admitting some players cheated I still don't see why that makes the game a bad game... Life is imperfect.. Many other players have cheated in the past.. Are we forgetting all the amphetamine use or the junkball pitchers using grease or what have you or the corked bats or whatever....Are we to believe no one hit a home run cheating ever before steroids? baseball is not perfect... its this constant need to believe it is that is problematic.. thats why Bouton was so crucified when he pointed out some albeit now considered mild imperfections in his book "Ball Four"
I find sports journalism leaving much to be desired on this issue.. I said so when the witch hunt on Bonds was on and I will say the same thing now... I would welcome players no longer use steroids although i believe developments in terms of masking for testing the use of performance enhancing substances means that its likely people will continue to use these things..its a competitive world and people will do what they feel they need to do to make a living..lets not even talk about genetic engineering... but I don't think its the end of the world.. I could use all the performance enhancing drugs in the world and I wouldn't even make contact with a 90 mph fastball! Why don't journalists focus more on some real solutions like creating a mechanism to fund an independent testing agency financed by a tax on player salaries and team profits or some such? with state of the art testing.. you better believe its going to take money to keep up with masking...and ballplayers knowing baseball means business with respect to testing would provide at least some limited deterrent...
Its also a big fiasco how this whole thing has played out..These results would have been destroyed as they should have been had it not been for the fiasco of the never ending Bonds witch hunt wherein the Feds apparently seized computers with these results and then now someone has released Arods info and not that of the other 103 players... This is pretty low and criminal anyway you look at it!. Lets think for a moment that Arod failed a test when there was a legal agreement- for the good of the game as determined by MLB and the players union- to test players but not reveal the results in order to gain information to see I suppose how to move forward with instituting some sort of testing regime...(negative interpretation: cover up).. Well if a player tested positive and he had no recourse to even appeal its always possible that a mistake could have been made.. I doubt it but what I'm saying is that the player such as Arod was tested under the agreement that the result would not be released and because of this there was no real reason for the player(s) to insist on an examination/appeal/clarification or even an explanation of what had been failed... If you failed and knew there were no consequences would you ask for a report and leave a paper trail about having failed?? would you call and expose yourself to someone perhaps taping the call??.. What happened to Arod is not the same thing as say the guy who won the Tour de France and then had an additional "B" sample tested and then there was an appeal etc... It just seems to me that there are some issues of due process here and I don't really like it...It would seem to me that if you were going to damn an entire ballplayers career and even the entire game of baseball it would take more than that kind of testing...
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Wednesday, February 11, 2009
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