Let’s pretend one of us had broke a really big rule at work, for point of argument let’s say that we were pilfering office supplies. Eventually, because we’re not too bright, we get caught, but somehow we manage to get off on some technicality. I’d like to think anyone that is smart enough to read these words would make sure that they would avoid putting themselves anywhere near a situation where they could possibly even be mentioned in the same breath as office theft.
On the scale of work-place crimes that can be committed, grabbing a box of paper clips or even a shiny new stapler ranks fairly low. Unless you’ve made an enemy of your boss, you’re not likely to be terminated. A stern talking to, and perhaps an official written warning would likely be as far as it would go, along with the threat that if you were caught doing such a thing again, it could mean your job.
Under any circumstance, would you think about taking so much as a sticky pad home for personal use? I didn’t think so, yet there are those in MLB who can’t seem to help themselves.
After managing to get off on a technicality last year, Ryan Braun once again finds himself embattled in a PED scandal as his name is connected at least indirectly with Biogenesis. For those with short term memory problems, it’s been about one year since Braun narrowly avoided a 50 game suspension because his sample was handled in precisely the manner it was supposed to be, given the circumstances. Whether he took any illegal substances or not (of course he did, IMHO), he got off. He was free to play a full season, while earning millions of dollars, and keep his long-term hopes of entering Cooperstown alive.
According to Braun, “his attorneys retained the clinic’s operator, Anthony Bosch, as a consultant during his appeal for the positive test.” Uh-huh. He went on to further state
I have nothing to hide and have never had any other relationship with Bosch. I will fully cooperate with any inquiry into this matter.
That’s a pretty slick response, and given that he had eight days to have his people work it out for him, it’s not surprising that he had a seemingly off-the-cuff response ready. I simply don’t buy it. I wish that the good folks at the Miami New Times had dropped Braun’s name when they outed Alex Rodriguez and many others last week. My guess is that Braun may not have appeared so quickly with a response to the new doping charges, but alas, the Miami New Times showed some journalistic restraint, and chose to not name Braun, New York Yankees’ catcher Francisco Cervelli or Baltimore Orioles’ third baseman Danny Valencia because their names were not directly linked to any specific PEDs.
Alex Rodriguez has not come off nearly as well as Braun has in the Biogenesis investigation, and according to these notes, he appeared to have a multi-year contract with Biogenesis, including future dispersement of PEDs. Where Arod will turn to for his PEDs now that Biogenesis is out of business will be something that we can all keep an eye out for.
This is the world that we as sports fans live in. We want so badly to believe that our favorite players would never cheat, yet nearly every time we open a newspaper, turn on the radio or t.v., or hop on the internet, there is a new story about athletes cheating. It’s sad, but I think for the most part, fans have become somewhat hardened to these revelations, because the assumption is that everyone cheats.
Braun himself said last year that we live in a world where there is no longer the assumption of innocence, but rather there was one of guilt. Gee, Ryan, I wonder why that is?
If the reports from the Miami New Times should prove accurate (here’s hoping they aren’t fudging details), anyone and everyone involved should be thrown out of the game, permanently. I understand there is a contract between the MLBPA and MLB, and there are procedures for how punishment is meted out, I simply don’t care about any of that anymore. It is high time that a line in the sand is drawn, and those that have been caught have an example made out of them.
Sure, there’ll be lawsuits, and there may even be fan protests. MLB will have to take its lumps and move forward, working harder to clean up the game. HGH testing is a start, but it needs to go much further than that. With or without union support, there should be year-round, unlimited testing for all players. You want to play the game? Prove you’re not cheating. I’m sorry, but the athletes have put themselves in this position. It’s unfortunate that ‘clean’ players will have to be inconvenienced so that those who are less scrupulous can be tested at any time, but if the ‘clean’ athletes had spoke up sooner, and demanded testing for all, then this would not be a necessary step. They chose to (for the most part, at least) remain silent on the issue and are therefor guilty by association.
We as fans deserve better, but we must demand it. If changes are not made immediately, we are condemned to continue repeating this sports hell over and over again.
What are your thoughts on the latest revelations? Do they even matter?
Let me know:[matt]