Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The whole world's juicing... The whole world's juicing: Everybody, even Jesus, is in the records of that Miami fountain of youth clinic

According to the Internet, (the new teevee!) Jesus Montero, Francisco Cervelli and Ryan Braun are Major League Juiceball's latest suspects, their names turning up on the napkins of the Florida clinic under investigation for quacking performance enhancing drugs. New names leak every day, teased from investigative sources, staining reputations, while the rest of the league cover heads and watches the Evening Noose to see who's on trial.

Folks, this is no way to run a witch hunt.

I don't mean to dismiss the corruption of PEDs in baseball. I just think the ship sailed long ago. I wonder why they're not epidemic in the NFL and NBA - since they're everywhere in far lesser money sports, like as track and bicycling. I think the NFL and the NBA don't try very hard to catch people. Because a lineman doesn't get to 340 pounds without help from something.

Did you know Mickey Mantle was accused of taking steroids in 1961? Writer Zev Chafets contended that The Mick's fade during his famous home run race with Roger Maris resulted from a botched steroid injection. That's 52 years ago. That's Mickey, baseball's last purely innocent boy, corrupted by fame.

Bud Selig loves to blather about what a great job he's done as commissioner (at a salary in excess of $25 million per year.) He says his drug policies have restored purity to MLB. Good grief, he must be on drugs. Baseball's drug war is an abomination.

I think we're still dealing with the 1994-95 players strike, brought on by Selig's attempt to roll back free agency through a salary cap (which he finally implemented this year.) Facing a loss of revenue and popularity, MLB sought to win back fans through the excitement of big home run hitters. So it juiced the balls, built bandbox stadiums and looked the other way on PEDs. 

But when the great home run records of Maris and Ruth fell, the owners realized they had lost a treasure trove of baseball history. So the scions of the game began demonizing Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, and later Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. Today, MLB has evolved to a point where it cannot deal with greatness of any kind. Any player who rises substantially above the crowd is greeted with suspicion. And good luck to all in New York, where scrutiny boils with 100 times extra intensity.

For nearly 20 years now, baseball has been reliving the Joe McCarthy hearings of the 1950s. Someone names a name and - boom - the player can deny it, but who cares? And who knows if the truth will ever come out?

I wish there was an easy answer for this. There isn't. I respect that MLB needs to test for certain drugs - especially the ones that will kill players later in life. But it's a vaunted chestnut that baseball is a metaphor for life. And MLB's war on drugs is just as much a fiasco as America's.

More names will come out. Brace yourself, Yankiverse. Salem is coming to Gotham.

10 comments:

John M said...

This is a farce of a travesty of a sham of buffoonery of the highest order. Your history lesson is right on target. Selig and the baseball powers are the Dr. Frankensteins of this mess. They made the monster and now they want to destroy anything that reminds them of it.

Paging Dr. Freud...Dr. Freud to the luxury suites...

And if borderline guys like Cervelli want to juice a little to hang onto their career by their fingernails, I honestly could care less. Unless, of course, his head starts to look like Barry Bonds' head. Then I strenuously object.

Can I get a toupee and my $25 million salary now?

George Herman Ruth said...

You gonna eat that wienerschnitzel there, pal? If not, pass it my way . . . .

bennyboy said...

Just because the NFL and the NBA don't test stringently for PED's, that doesn't mean the MLB shouldn't. If Fox News doesn't respect the old rule that a journalist needs two sources to confirm a story, does that mean every news outlet can or should abandon the rule? Do two wrongs make a right?

I don't demonize steroid users. I just think they shouldn't be allowed to play. Cheaters shouldn't be rewarded for cheating with big contracts and roster spots on professional baseball teams.

Finally, I don't hate A-Rod because he's a steroid user. I hated him when he was a Mariner and he criticized Jeter. I thought him overrated long before he was a Yankee, and I honestly didn't think he was a user until he got caught. I figured he was too image-conscious to dare try steroids.

John M said...

Can we stop with this grade-school name calling thing about juicers? Ohhh, they're 'cheaters'..oooh.

Cheaters have been rewarded in baseball for decades. All the guys who took speed before every game in the 50s and 60s (and probably 70s)? Cheaters. And that includes just about everyone on the great Yankees teams, as Jim Bouton can explain to you.

How about spitballers? Oh, those cheaters. They kept throwing their favorite pitch even when it was illegal! Can you imagine? Sure, it gave them an unfair advantage. Just walk through the Hall of Fame, it becomes obvious.

Of course, I personally have a warm spot for how great Yogi was as creating a little cut, a little scuff on the ball, in ways that the umpire never noticed. Man, could Whitey make those suckers dance. The cheater.

Of course, there were all the rumors back in the late 70s about those great Yankee teams and their mounds of Peruvian marching powder. One particular shortstop was said to power his incredible post season with high-quality product from Rock Candy Mountain.

Fucking cheater.

Players have always used whatever they could get away with to gain an edge, all the way back to Ty Cobb's sharpened spikes. That makes him a racist AND a cheater, and an asshole, to boot. Hall material, for sure.

'Cheaters shouldn't be rewarded for cheating.' It sounds like someone is a Little League coach to me, and really believes that this is how the world works. Cheaters made America great. Cheaters stole DOS from some poor schmuck for peanuts and made billions. Cheaters stole patented ideas and built business empires (yeah, you Marconi haters, I'm talking to you). Cheaters bought enough votes for Kennedy to beat Nixon, and stopped the Florida recount that would have nabbed the election for Gore.

Cheaters run the world. And the freakin' league didn't do a damn thing about it for years because the guys running the league ARE CHEATERS, TOO! They're running a monopoly, making gazillions, and screwing people right and left to keep the factory running.

Fer Chrissake...

bennyboy said...

Okay John M. According to your logic, two conclusions become inescapable:

1) The ends justify the means (Cheaters made America great. Cheaters stole DOS from some poor schmuck for peanuts and made billions. Cheaters stole patented ideas and built business empires (yeah, you Marconi haters, I'm talking to you). Cheaters bought enough votes for Kennedy to beat Nixon, and stopped the Florida recount that would have nabbed the election for Gore.)

2) If something was done in the past, that justifies that thing being done in the present. Especially if Jim Bouton can attest to whatever it is that has been done. (Cheaters have been rewarded in baseball for decades. All the guys who took speed before every game in the 50s and 60s (and probably 70s)? Cheaters. And that includes just about everyone on the great Yankees teams, as Jim Bouton can explain to you.)

Therefore, I will apply your logic to something other than our debate.

1) The United States ought to eliminate fuel economy quotas on automobile companies. This would help U.S. car companies, which in turn would help the U.C. economy. Yes, it would hurt our environment. But the ends justify the means.

2) The United States ought to legalize child labor. During the 1890s, when child labor was legal, our economy boomed. People want the economy to boom again. Therefore, since it worked during the 1890s, we should restore child labor. Especially if Jim Bouton says it works.

Do you understand why your arguments suck? Or do you need further explanation? Does what I say still sound like something you would hear in Little League?


Jim "Bulldog" Bouton said...

Whooooah! Pretty intense. Gotta take a greenie.

John M said...

Actually, what you say sounds more like Little League than what you said before. Or maybe more like the kid in Catholic grade school who acted like Eddie Haskell to the nuns but he wasn't faking it.

Didn't anyone tell you this is a humor blog?

See, the satirical aspect of what I wrote is that stealing, juicing, doing unethical things isn't right, but it's kind of how things go. We can poke fun at this reality or we can unevenly hold the world to an impossible moral standard and logically, if we extend the same moral standard to all, equally and fairly, we'd have to condemn a great many people who we and most people would never ever villify; the tension between the truth of this and the continuing (and as Duque has pointed out, hypocritical and witch-huntian)pillorying of guys like A-Rod creates a problem of moral relativism and a certain injustice, and an absurdity that, to a certain type of mind, can be pretty funny, albeit in a rather dark and snarky way...

Oh, forget it. Are you sure your name isn't Earnest? Boy, that was a great Wilde play. Of course, he ended up going to jail for a completely different kind of injection, in a day when wife beaters and social sadists were completely respectable. Which in a kind of way, returns me to my original relativistic dilemma and the humor within. Which you don't get.

And calling people 'cheaters' is still kind of juvenile. Who talks that way after they're past 8? Aside from the blowhard Gammonites and the $25 million man with the badger on his head.

Hey, wait a minute. Anybody can use any screen name they want around here...just how much money do you make, bennyboy? And is that your real name or would BUDdyboy be a tad more on the mark?

It's all becoming clearer to me now...

George Herman Ruth said...

How 'bout you two gentlemen sit down together and have a few beers, punctuated by a Polish sausage and maybe a chili dog, and be pals again? You're both Yankees fans, right?

John M said...

Babe, you read my mind. I'm sorry for carrying my bitter, old man cynicism into this conversation. The old saying says, a disillusioned lidealist is the worst cynic. Guilty, as charged.

Benny, I was just having fun but maybe I went too far in my snarkiness. You're a good man. Let us worship together at the Yankee altar and put this behind us. Mea culpa.

George Herman Ruth said...

Thanks, John. Y'know, there's nothing more heartwarming than grown men gathering together, sharing fellowship and then beating the shit of out the Red Sox.