Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I Feel Deep Regret

By now, you've all seen it.  If you haven't, being Amish in 2009 must be going great:

It's the complete Alex Rodriguez interview with Peter Gammons.


A-Rod has been schooled in phony PR since he was an 18 year old senior at Miami Dade Christian High School.  He never speaks out of turn, always says 'the right thing', and is generally as boring and manufactured a media figure as you'll find.  It's smart though.  People can't stand this guy and yet, he mints money.  He's in everything and has signed 2 different 10 year contract worth over $25o million.  Have you met my friend here, Mr Ho-Lee Sheet?

Here is the official reaction of Gus Johnson's Whisper to these developments;

-He did himself a service by his 'admission' (we put it in quotes because he says things like 'I admit to being naive' which are attempts to remove some culpability on his part).  If you look at the sh*t shows that guys like Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro etc have/are going through, the best course is to come clean.  Of course A-Rod came about as clean as a pair of underwear worn by a man for 52 days in a row.

-We're still taken aback at all the 'surprise' that people seem to be feeling.  Everyone knew.  It was around.  Guys that we played with in summer ball, guys that we knew from being around baseball etc. everyone of them had a story about a guy who was using or whole teams using, clubhouse attendants going on roid runs like they were picking up soda, and so on.  Everyone knew.

-We get upset at the 'moral outrage' of columnists/pundits (like the NY writer who said the yankees should release A-Rod no matter what the cost).  It's so easy to 'take a stand' against this sort of thing.  They can't affect wether or not a guy is allowed to play so they strike in the only forum they can, Hall of Fame voting.  Because they don't sit on MLB rules committees, or participate in hearings, or have any influence on who is allowed to play, they use their little pulpits to express their opinions.  We get annoyed at sportswriters inserting themselves in the debate.

-Of course it's long overdue to have effective testing.  No one should argue differently.  No one was complaining after the strike, when all the homeruns and Cal's streak brought fans back.  It's the dirty little secret that owners turned a blind eye and rewarded guys with deals.  For every A-Rod, there were 3 dozen guys who were just trying to get 1 big free agent deal.

-We ask where you draw the line.  Meaning, we all agree that roids are wrong.  Fine.  But, 162 over 7 months is beyond hard.  Can guys not take caffeine pills but drink strong coffee?  Can guys not eat lots of carbs on gamedays because they can get energy?  What suppliments are OK and what are not?  Everyone's body is different so a suppliment might not help one guy but change another's entire game.  It's a weird time because we don't know where you can draw the line.

-In sum, we're not bothered by guys that did it.  It's easy to cast a stone, call it wrong, and move on.  We for one, don't particularly care if a guy did or didn't.  The culture rewarded it and now, the culture is being changed.  Each player had to live with his decisions, weighing $ against long term health, his chance to keep his dream alive for another season or 2 against begging for a spring training invite while ignoring the writing on every wall.  Pro sports are merciless and cruel.  99% of the time, guys are let go without ceremony and the season goes on.  Guys that have worked their entire lives have everything they know taken away from them by a handshake from an assistant GM who has a computer program that measures defensive efficiency.  We don't care.  Make your choices but be prepared to live with them.

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