2004-12-08

Appreciate the Thought, But ...


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The election behind us, Congress gets ready to tackle an ambitious agenda: social security, same-sex marriage, national security, and baseball?

Yes, no less than Maverick Senator, John McCain (R-AZ) is taking aim at MLB over its steroid policy.

Make no mistake - the inmates are running the assylum in MLB, and the league's steroid policy, if you want to call it that, is a joke. Remember, during this past spring training, over 5% of these players failed a drug test that they had been warned of several months in advance.

My problem is that I just can't seem to find the cause for government involvement. Granted, Congress never seems to require a reason to screw something up. Unfortunately, the Players' Union and Owners have beaten them to the punch in the case of MLB.

The calamity that many are proclaiming is an illusion. Where are the victims? Who has been hurt?

Certainly not the fans. They didn't need to wait for recent confessions by Jason Giambi and Barry Bonds to realize that chemical engineering is rampant in Major League Baseball, and has been for years. The sport isn't about to lose its integrity in the eyes of the fan because there isn't any integrity to lose.

The players? After all, steroids literally leave a trail of death and physical destruction in their path. But there are no mysteries here. It's a simple calculation: the price for near-term glory is long-term health. Some players feel the risk is worth the reward.

The owners? The MLBPA? Please. Together they've created this monster.

Today I heard the "we need to protect the children" angle, and was almost persuaded. When nothing is done about this, the story goes, it demonstrates to young minds that cheating is acceptable, and health-altering chemicals are just the ticket.

Alas, this is the oldest trick in the book. whenever a government figure wants to justify taking action, they invoke children. Truth is, there are many things out there that children need to be protected from. Why should the government do, or rather attempt to do, the parents' job? Personally, I'd rather have a child taught that there are limits to government's reach.

Sorry, there are no victims here ... no tragedy. All that has really changed is that the "ignorance defense" has been removed. No longer can Bud Selig, owners, the MLBPA, and even fans pretend that this problem doesn't exist. They are now all faced with inescapable evidence. You all haven't been enlightend, you've been out-ed.

Finally, today I read that Bud Selig would accept government help in this situation. How lame is that? Selig and the owners have, for years, backed down, given in, and ceded power to the players' association. Now they want the government to bail them out? Bureaucratic thinking dug this hole - it will hardly be able to find a solution.

Bottom line: I don't spend my enteratainment dollars on baseball, and I certainly don't want to spend my tax dollars there.

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