Ok. I’m ready for my full Steroid/HGH/Grimsley rant It’s mainly directed a certain commissioner in our sport. It hurts me to do this, it really does, because I bleed Packer’s green and gold as much as I do Angel Red, and Mr. Selig is a former Packers committee member. So here goes.
First off, I’d like to commend Selig on suspending Jason Grimsley for 50 games. Who are you going to suspend next? Sammy Sosa? Mark McGuire? Why don’t we suspend Ken Caminiti while we’re at it. What Selig has done is effectively suspended a guy that, admittingly, is never coming back to the game. He’s already not getting paid. So this suspension, when all is said and done, this punishment has absolutely zero impact on the person it was levied upon. You want to know the sad thing about this? This is probably Selig’s strongest show of power in his entire tenure as the commish.
Staying on the subject of ol’ Buddy. Alot of the burden of this so-called ‘steroid era’ falls on him. It -has- to. He allowed the union to walk all over him, giving concession after concession to Donald Fehr. For what? The privacy of the players? That’s a bunch of bull. Selig allowed himself to be told by the union to turn a blind eye to all the HGH, steroids, and amphetamines. Its a gross failure on Selig’s part.
I’m also tired of the people who say "If they want to screw with their bodies, let them. It doesn’t matter." Ok, let me tell you this. These same ‘bat and glove’ salesmen that venture into professional clubhouses venture into the high school locker rooms your kids are in. And let me tell you, they’re selling the same stuff to high schoolers as they do to the pros. You know how they lock in the high school kids? By saying the pro’s do it, by saying its the only way to get a leg up because everyone else at the next level is doing it. If you doubt that happens, then your just too naive to be a parent, plain and simple. Its more rampant in football and the high school level, but it happens in baseball locker rooms too. You clean up the game, you clean up the high school locker rooms.
But the simple fact of the matter is that a majority of the fans believe it to be a serious problem and want the game cleaned up. That means Donald Fehr needs to shut his pie-hole about players rights. This so-called ‘champion for the players’. needs to realize that players do not supercede the purity of the game. Players who tarnish that purity need to be dealt with swiftly and harshly. ****, the whole union needs to realize that playing baseball is a -privelege-, just like having a drivers license. You are -priveleged- to play this game, and you abide by the rules governing this game, which are installed to protect its purity. Because, face it, the game is really the only thing to sport has going for it anymore. And its being threatened by these peformance enhancing drugs.
Also, Bud Selig needs to step up to the plate and make some drastic and sweeping changes. His tenure is already bound to be remember as a failure. Lack of action here only solidifies is legacy as the most cowardly sports leader in history. If he does something here, it will salvage a little bit of dignity. And don’t give me any of this "His hands are tied" or "What can he do?" bullcrap. David Stern basically has beee-otch slapped the union, and every single one of his critics when he wanted something down. You want a commish that knows how to control his sport? They’re you go. Stern noticed that his sport had an image problem and was lagging behind the two other major sports, so what did he do? He instituted and dress code, and changed the rules around to allow for more marketability. Paul Tagliabue has rocketed his sport to a level of popularity and marketability that rivals, and probably even surpasses, that of soccer in Europe. Yet Bud Selig still allows scandal, after scandal, after scandal to tear at his sport. Just when the sport starts to recover, something else embroils it. Why does this happen? A complete lack of control, that’s why.
Yes, some of this has to fall on the players themselves as well. It, after all, is their jealousy, over-zealousness, and greed that has turned America’s pasttime into a sport of cheaters. For what? An extra half million on a contract? A few more highlights on Sportscenter? Yes, they’re to blame for this too and they need to be punished. But seriously, if we were to suspend/ban every single player on some sort of peformance enhancer, we’d probably reduce every single roster down to 5-6 players at the most, taking down some of the games most popular and beloved players in the process. So how do we do it? How to we start to clean up the game?
Amnesty. . .That’s how.
If you come forward by the end of the year, whether it be public or private, admitting your use of performance enhancing drugs at present or in the past, you’re free to go. You sign a contract admitting that you used some sort of peformance enhancer, as well as agreeing that if you ever test positive for performance enhancers again, you are effectively banned from the game. Those people who do not come foward, and are caught using the drugs, or sufficient evidence emerges that they did use the drugs at one time, are to be banned for life on the spot . No ifs, ands, or buts.
Its plain and simple, cut and dry. It allows for a confession to be done on the spot, it doesn’t have to be public, it could be completely and totally private. I don’t like the idea of allowing people off, but its probably the only way. What’s in the past is in the past, lets concentrate on saving the future of the game. Let it be known that behavior like this will not be tolerated again. A stiff penalty such as a ban, would get that message across. But allowing players to admit usage, saving time and money on investigation, is in the best interests of everyone.
Of course, its not going to happen that way. Mr. Selig is going to find a way to just sit on his hands, allowing the Feds to clean up his mess yet again. Its really a sad state of affairs. I mean, really, it ***** when we have a commissioner that makes me embarrassed to be baseball fan.