A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Selig, Players’ Union Doesn’t Care About Your Kids Or The Game They Play
SAN ANTONIO – Since the whole BALCO case began, and probably even prior to that when the discussion of whether androdesterone was legal to take, Major League Baseball and its players’ association have never come out and say that they were against illegal performance enhancing drugs. Human Growth Hormone and other steroids are still easy to get? How easy are they you may ask? Do this simple little test while you are on the Internet and you’ll see. Go to your favorite search engine and type in these words: “steroids” and ‘buying”. Did anything come up? Unless you have blockers or other website sensors on to block such information, you should get back hundreds of listings including a few that say “legal steroid alternatives available here”. That really isn’t my concern with this article. My concern is that as easy as it was for me and you, the reader, to perform that simple test how easy do you think it is for a high school or college athlete who is looking for an edge to find such supplements? As easy as clicking a mouse it seems.
So when one of this country’s major sports leagues really doesn’t want to do anything about a rampant problem within it’s own rank and file, what does a parent to do? How does a father tell his Little League son that steroids is wrong when the very game his son plays has ‘bigger’ boys popping pills, shooting fluids and abusing their bodies just for a paycheck or to achieve a record? Selig, the owners and the players don’t see that problem because to them there is no problem. There’s no steroid problem, no public relations problem, no big pink elephant in the room. Well parents take a good look at that pink elephant because that is Major League Baseball staring in the face and saying, “We don’t care about you, your money, or your kids. What our players do is for themselves because they are not role models to your children.” There is some truth in that statement if Bud Selig continues to not want to talk about the issue and he keeps hiding from it. Baseball writers aren’t going to confront him on this issue because they don’t want to lose their credentials. That’s fine. I don’t have that issue to worry about. But I would think that a baseball writer worth his weight in integrity would continue to write about how the game they cover needs to do something to change the public perception that this issue has caused. I would want to believe that the national writers who have votes in the Baseball Writers Hall of Fame would do what it takes to ensure that players who have questionable stats be scrutinized a little more closely and that includes Mark McGwuire. That includes Barry Bonds and Raphael Palmero. It includes Sammy Sosa. It includes anyone whom may fall under the suspicion of doping up to obtain an unfair advantage.
Parents maybe this is a topic that will never truly be discussed in your household and maybe I have written too many articles on it for this site but unlike the numerous baseball writers who are scared of King Selig, I have no problem letting him know that his game has poisoned this country’s youth. When Major League Baseball has players like Bonds come out all indignant because the media is bombarding him with questions of alleged steroid use, it just shows how arrogant this league and the players’ union has been in the whole escapade. Do I think that some of baseball’s greatest hitters of the mid to late 1990s are a bunch of crooks? I sure do. I believe so because instead of them facing the music of doing something right, they want to hide behind the cloud of “union”. That is why I wrote a recent article that said that our own government has allowed dope peddlers to make a living playing baseball. That’s why I have asked for the Congress to reopen discussions on the anti-trust debate. Sen. John McCain needs to get brutally serious about leading the charge to change the way Major League Baseball conducts business and force the union to start accepting responsibility when it’s members have done the improbable of creating a national embarrassment.
It really burns me up when we have baseball players like Bonds who don’t see the bigger picture. I’ll be honest and say that if every single one of the players who have used steroids came forth today and did a mea culpa in front of the baseball world, I would forgive them. I’d forgive them if they admitted their wrongdoing and admit that the records set by them were bogus and deserve to be in a special category. I think just about everyone in the sports world would be willing to do such forgiveness but we all know that’s not going to happen. It won’t happen because the player’s union refuses to allow these ‘men’ be men and Bud Selig will not allow it to happen because then the federal government will be doing an investigation. A conspiracy you say? Yeah it’s a conspiracy of humongous proportions and the sad thing is that kids are actually caught up in the midst of it all.
I want to call a spade a spade in this article and make sure that I hit my own home run in the process. Major League Baseball, Selig, the players’ union and anyone who is associated in trying to cover up the steroids debate is a farce. The premise that they actually test their minor league players for everything, including steroids, sets up young ball players for failure. How can I say such a claim with no evidence? The evidence is in Ken Camaniti’s death and José Conseco’s admittance to using steroids to become baseball’s first 40-40 man. If Barry Bonds doesn’t believe that steroids do not help you in becoming a better athlete, then he needs to explain how Conseco became the first baseball player to accomplish that feat so long ago.
Steroids and baseball is going to continue to be in the sports world until Selig and the baseball world decides to take this matter seriously and treat it as if it were a life and death crisis. In retrospect not only is this a life and death situation, it is an epidemic that needs to be handled in a fashion that shows that the keepers of America’s pastime are serious about the sanctity and purity of the game. But parents before you plop down your hard earned money to go to a MLB game, maybe you would want to warn your children that the players they are witnessing out there may or may not be playing the game the way the game should be played. Sure they are playing hard and sure they are making spectacular plays but if you are taking your child to see a team that may have a steroid user on the roster, make sure you tell your child that that particular player is not playing by the rules. It is up to you as parents to make those designations anyway but it’s a shame that Selig and others in the game don’t want to make your job a little easier for the young fans that live in your household.