Thursday, May 07, 2009

Manny Ramirez

If I hear one more self-righteous indignant sportswriter try to crucify one more juicing athlete, I think my head is going to explode. It's a gigantic web of stupidity, hypocrisy and double standards. Oh the horrors! That monster! He's cheating all of the other good, clean players, like the ones whose names haven't come out yet! He's lying! (Or he admitted it! Or he's telling half-truths! Or he didn't say anything!) Throw him out of baseball! Wipe him from the record books! Ban him from the Hall of Fame! He has ruined our decent, pure game!

2 weeks go by and it's onto the next guy to throw under the bus....

The honest truth is none of them care. They only pretend to care because that sanctimonious attitude makes them feel better about themselves. If they cared, they would have been saying something ten years ago when all of this was obvious but completely undiscussed. If they cared, you wouldn't hear all this nonsense after the drug testing began about how now the game is clean again. If they cared, you wouldn't hear the steroid era referred to in the past tense.

Are we still at the point where we view steroid users as evil outliers to be whipped? Have we still not gotten the point after 8,000 separate revelations have come out to beat it into our heads?

Professional athletes are going to use performance enhancing drugs if they feel it gives them an advantage. You can try your best to deter them by setting up rigorous testing, but you're never going to know for sure. The guys who haven't been caught aren't benevolent angels, and the guys who have been caught aren't nefarious super-villains. If you can't deal with this reality, stop watching sports. But don't make it seem like these guys committed crimes against humanity just because they had the nerve to wake you from your two week long successful process of self-delusion.

3 Comments:

Anonymous mean dean said...

Well said Todd, to speak nothing of how people look back lovingly at pitchers who doctored balls or players who stole signals, and turn a blind eye to the times when players regularly used amphetamines and greenies.

I haven't watched ESPN in I can't remember how long, and I barely read any actual sports content anymore outside of what people link to me, basically because of awful overreaction like this. We're at a point where this should PRACTICALLY be a non-story, yet it just gets dragged out more and more and I can't stand it.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Timelord said...

Todd, I guess I might be stirring the pot here - but to an uneducated person one could almost suggest that you are defending Manny for his actions and that the suspension may as well not have happened. I disagree.

Look - the biggest problem here is the fact that American sport tends to gloss over the drug problem as out of control to the extent of "why bother"? Especially when it comes to the home grown product (ie baseball, basketball, gridiron and ice hockey). It is of course a lot harder to do in Olympic sport - as Marion Jones knows first hand.

Here in Australia we have always taken a much harsher view, and it works as well. There is the odd exception - for example the Australian Football League takes a softly softly private approach on the first offence, which has been criticised by our media as weak.

It's why the US media has a history of being keen on questioning out athletes when something out of the ordinary comes up. Ian Thorpe can testify to that one, and there have been others as well. It's almost as though there are some who want to protect the drug culture in the US, for whatever the reason.

It's about time someone used the example left by Eddie Guerrero. Ignore the fact that he was a pro wrestler. He is the poster boy for what can and will happen when one uses and abuses drugs. The sooner it is stamped out properly the better.

Manny got what he deserved.

5:24 AM  
Blogger Todd Martin said...

I understand what you're saying, Timelord. I have no problem with harshly punishing Manny Ramirez. My problem is with the American media, which lionizes and puts athletes on a pedastal, and then knocks them off with indignation and disgust. I think it's silly when these people know or should know by now how rampant performance enhancing drugs are, and yet when people are caught it's this game of devaluing everything about them. I think there needs to be more realism about the nature of the drug problems. But hey, that doesn't let the drug users off the hook.

10:12 PM  

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