As the dust continues to swirl around the “A-Roid” issue in Major League Baseball, I continue to sit back and marvel at the sheer hypocrisy that is flooding airwaves and bulletin boards alike.
One by one, writers, fans, major league baseball executives, and even, laughably, owners (yeah, I’m talkin’ to you, Tom Hicks) have all lined up to take their pot shots at the ever-growing list of major league baseball players that have been found out to be “cheats.”
Now make absolutely no mistake about this: I cry for the game. I truly do.
All of my friends only “kind of laugh” when they hear me use my all too familiar line, “Baseball isn’t a sport to me; it’s a religion.” Thus it saddens me to see my beloved pastime suffer from yet another self-induced blow of the performance-enhancing drug variety.
That being said, nothing gets me more irritated than this “holier than thou” attitude that is being dumped on the players involved in this whole fiasco.
I am sick and tired of these so-called “moralists” acting outraged at the fact that these players could do such a thing. Everyone under the sun is just piling on these guys like they are the vilest of the vile, insulting our sensibilities at each and every turn.
To them I say, “Where were you when all of this was going on?”
Where were you, mister commissioner, when you presided over the dirtiest era the sport has ever seen? You were busy patting yourself on the back as revenues exploded like balls off of Barry Bonds’ bat, that’s where.
And where were you, Major League Baseball Players Union chair Donald Fehr? You were too consumed with protecting the players that were juiced up, as their ill-gotten productivity was driving up revenues that you could secure in your collective bargaining agreements.
Where were you, the fans, as record after record fell at a meteoric rate? As prodigious home run after home run left the bat of players like McGwire, Sosa, Bonds, and Rodriguez, did you once speak out in protest of what should have been all too obvious?
Even now as we mire through this never-ending saga of dishonesty and betrayal, why did it take an economic recession the likes of which hasn’t been seen since the late ’20s to finally drive down ticket sales?
And lastly, where were you, “Mister/Ms. Sportswriter” (and yes, my finger is pointed squarely at myself as I type this), while all of this was going on? Was it not you that was closest to all of this without actually being on the inside? Were you not there, day after day, chronicling all of this without so much as a peep about PEDs?
Who had greater access to the game, its players, its owners, and all of its “dirty little secrets” than you? Yet, save a handful of cries that went completely ignored, not a word was said about what from all accounts was “a culture that was prevalent throughout all of major league baseball.”
Yet here we are, all of us looking down our noses at the players involved, chastising them as cheats, narcissists, and greed-fueled monsters devoid of any morally redeeming value.
We were all partners in this crime that has tarnished our wonderful game.
MLB executives, the players union, and owners that did absolutely nothing to stop this; players that not only used the PEDs but those that turned a blind eye to what was obviously going on; fans that uttered every “ooh” and “ah” at the towering home runs that dominated the landscape of the era; and yes, the so-called “journalists” that somehow couldn’t figure out what was going on right under their very noses.
Alex Rodriguez and others should indeed be held accountable in the court of public opinion for what they have done.
But then again, shouldn’t we all?