What's so Funny About Peace, Love, and Anabolic Steroids
Everybody and their mother have been knocking down my door demanding to get my take on all this Steroids hub-bub. It's as if the world can't move on to important matters until I've sounded off and impacted the prevailing wisdom.
I'm that important.
OK. What we all know. Giambi said in private, confidential testimony, that he stabbed his butt a bunch of times and injected Horse Urine into his body, or something like that. I think it was made from Elmo's umbilical cord or something. Oh, and he says it didn't help him.
Bonds said, also in private, confidential testimony, that he rubbed K-Y jelly on his body but thought it was extract of mother's love and apple pie.
We don't know what Randy Velarde said, but we mock him for even being involved.
My first response goes out to whoever leaked this private, confidential testimony. I hope you're found out and sent to prison, where you can only WISH the only thing being jammed into your backside is a needle. These e players were promised anonymity, and that has been ruined. And this isn't a case of me whining about Bonds' and Giambi's privates. I'm thinking of the larger picture.
You think BALCO is the ONLY company providing athletes with naughty substances made out of Satan's Left Boob? Open your eyes. Remember when Caminitti said 50% of baseball was using something? He may not have been that far off. Right now, there are a lot of players thinking "Thank God I don't play in San Francisco or Oakland. The New York (or Milwaukee, or Toronto, or Atlanta) office of Steroids Inc. is still secret."
And let's be honest, the criminals in this case are the SUPPLIERS. The people we want behind bars are the ones MAKING this stuff and peddling it off to Desperate Athletes (Wednesdays at 9 on ABC) around the globe.
So OK, we've toppled the big bad BALCO. And when we move in on CALCO (Chicago Area Lab and Concoctions Organization), you think we'll get a SINGLE witness to testify? Not anymore. Why testify if your "secret" testimony comes out and ruins your LIFE? You think Giambi is ever going to have a pleasant experience playing Baseball ever again in his LIFE? Bonds? (Well, maybe Bonds, but he's really weird)
So that's my first thought. Whoever leaked this has seriously harmed MLB's (and NBA's and NFL's and everyone else's) chances of cleaning up professional sports.
Thanks a lot. Dork.
As for the players. Why bother? How upset was everyone in '98 when Big Mac was caught using a perfectly legal steroid? Fact is, if Bonds used the cream or the clear or the Credence Clearwater Revival, it wasn't against the rules in 2001. Or 2002. He's tested positive since then. Maybe he still uses and we can't detect. Maybe not. Maybe Cody Ransom used them and it made his hands too big to accurately field that damn ground ball in the 9th in game 161. Who knows? Athletes shouldn't use performance enhancers? What's surgery? Tommy John Surgery is a sick, sick thing. Totally unnatural. Anyone notice how lots of folk who have TJS become better pitchers? Anybody crying home to mother about it?
It's one thing to say drugs are bad, M'Kay? But what's a drug? Where does the line get drawn? Some shout out "It's illegal!" Well sure, steroids are illegal... unless you can get a doctor to prescribe them. So let's say a doctor prescribes them to Yorvit and he starts hitting 50 HRs a year. They were prescribed, so they're not illegal. Now what?
"They're against MLB policy." OK. But even as they are now going to bring da hammer to steroids under threat of public admonishment, how far can they go? If they ban specific substances, what about the next brand new thing that's created and isn't on the list? Ban all steroids? OK. But "the squeaky clean" wasn't a steroid, it was a Human Growth Hormone. Ban all foreign substances that can alter the playing field? What about cortisone shots? What about aspirin?
Where do you draw the line?
I don't really have an answer, maybe someone out there does. Am I happy with the knowledge that Bonds probably hit 73 homers with a little help? Not really. Does that mean if a steroid-induced Bonds had been a part of a 2002 team that didn't blow game 6 I'd have been repulsed? Heck no, I want my Championship. I've been waiting my whole life for a SF Giants championship, and if we'd gotten 5 more outs in 2002, I'd have it, and I wouldn't retroactively care if I found out all 25 players were juiced to the gills.
Here's what I think will happen. Steroids abuse will decline. A few more players will look surprisingly Giambi-esque in the next few months. Balls will not be hit as far on such a regular basis. Fastballs will not top 100 MPH so frequently (forgot that the pitchers are using too, didn't you?). Life will go on.
Until the next drug scandal breaks.
From booze to greenies to coke to 'roids. Players will always search for the next thing to give them an advantage. It's the nature of the beast.