The Steroid Scandal Continues
Like a recurring nightmare, the steroid scandal just won’t go away. Baseball fans awake in a cold sweat and are bombarded with analyst of why players with superior talents, such as Alex Rodriquez, Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Andy Pettitte, and Roger Clemens, among too many others, would tarnish their lofty accomplishments in the name of greed.
That is what starting the performance enhancing ball rolling in the first place; The drive to be the best in the sport and attaining that by any means necessary.
(Of course, there were many borderline players motivated to cut corners in hopes of landing the major league minimum. Suffice to say; once the floodgates were opened and the playing field uneven, the torrents of cheaters came rushing forward).
However, the stars are the news-makers and their egos seem to be their worse enemies. Just like every other scandal that has besmirched the game of baseball the fans are the ones holding the bag. Moreover, as in the past, the fans are the ones who will lift the great game from the sewage and return it to prominence.
Because for all the news the players and owners churn out, it’s the fans that are the bedrock of the game. And, if you think the game is not to about to take a big hit this season, your head is buried in the muck. Young baseball players have idolized the players since the game’s inception, but their parents feel betrayed again.
Ask any major leaguer which player they emulated growing up and a smile precedes a roll call from
They will have to live with themselves as they age like us mere mortals.
The bad taste in our mouths pales in comparison to the pain we feel when reaching for the plastic when buying baseball tickets. Do your hands shake like mine? Paying for parking and hot dogs nowadays requires a second mortgage.
Pay through the nose and root for a bunch of cheaters and phonies? It’s the proverbial double whammy. Who cannot blame the masses for being jaded? It’s a matter of time before your favorite Mets player is also ousted.
Do the math, 104 anonymous players failed the test in 2003. Some 555 passed. What are the odds that someone you admired on the Mets that season is a cheater? It says here the odds are short.
The off-season chatter around the hot-stove revolved around player transactions; the trades, and what free agents signed. Now, it’s all about news of perpetual scandal, and frankly I’m sick of it. Wake me up from this nightmare on opening day.
If I was a major leaguer, I would count my lucky stars the game includes A-Rod. Because he is the ultimate lightning Rod and takes the strike due to his massive insecurities. As a fan, his self-absorbing overexposure is tedium personified.
But, at least he admitted he was juiced unlike many deluded others (already mentioned).
Perhaps the cheaters have taught our young a great lesson (all of us really): If you lie, come clean, or you only bury yourself deeper in the manure. On the other hand, when a liar claims he is steroid-free, why should we believe him?
Nevertheless, like Bonds and Clemens, A-Rod could go away and not be missed one iota. Unfortunately, MLB is stuck with him. Ironically, former Mets GM Steve Phillips was spot-on in his assessment that he was opposed to signing a 24-plus one ballplayer.
The only saving grace is pitchers and catchers report shortly so we can focus on the white lines again.
I am just an ordinary fan who is passionate about the game. We are the ones who have always supplied the integrity and are the true protectors of the National Pastime. Regardless of how hard the athletes, owners, and the grossly overpaid commissioner, Bud Selig, attempt to screw the sport up.
Fans are asked to do the heavy lifting-again. We will answer the call-again. The players play this sport for a check and the owners for the limelight; there is no debate about that.
The fans follow baseball for the most selfish reason of all. For the love of the game.
About the Author: Doug Branch
Doug has been sports writing since 1983. He first wrote about the Mets at spring training that year, and his first interviewee was surly catcher Ron Hodges. He currently writes for Mets Inside Pitch, among other magazines published by Scout Publishing-which is owned by Fox Sports. He began following the team during the Wes Westrum era, and redeemed many Borden milk coupons for free Saturday baseball. The night of Tom Seaver's imperfect game against the Cubs, he was in line to buy a ticket when the windows slammed shut and abject disappointment ensued.
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