Thursday, March 17, 2005

Thank You Jose Canseco

That is something that I never would have thought I would write. But I took the time this evening to watch the testimony before the congressional committee on steroid use, and that is what I want to say.

Curt Schilling, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmero(Mr. Viagara), and Sammy Sosa knew of no one in baseball using steroids. Schilling even called Canseco a liar. Yet all of these guys feels that something must be done about steroids in baseball when, according to their numbers, only 1.7 % tested positive last year. That may mean six players in all of baseball were on steroids. Not one of them said that they were chasing a phantom issue here.

Mark McGwire does not even look like the player that broke Roger Maris' single season home run record. When asked if he used steroids, which were legal at the time he was playing, he sounded like a broken record: "I did not come here to talk about the past, but about the future". Yet he had no idea of the new collective bargaining agreement.

I have to wonder who the player's union is trying to protect if there are no players using steroids. Why not a lifetime ban if caught if there are so few actually doing it? A 98.3% clean majority cannot root out the 1.7 of steroid users? What is the fear there?

Canseco's answers were by far the most coherent of any responses today. Of course he is not going to be popular with the rest of the players. I am sure Big Mac was unhappy with the accusations. But are Canseco's accusations so far off the mark? Is he the only player to have used steroids, as some of the other players on the committee wanted to imply?

Of course not. Players will do whatever they can to have an edge. Why? Millions of dollars are at stake with their salaries alone. The very idea that congress will have to pass legislation because a protected monopoly(major league baseball) cannot police itself is a sad statement indeed. What does it tell the rest of the nation if some of it's wealthiest citizens cannot keep themselves from using steroids without the help of governmental force?

Curt Schilling cannot even kick the smokeless tobacco habit. He has been trying for years. He knows it is bad. he continues anyway while at the same time telling young kids not to chew. I can only wonder if he has the same thoughts towards the use of steroids with his fellow players?



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