A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Fans Think “Mr. 3000″ Is Getting A Bad Rap This Week, Yeah And I Want The Easter Bunny To Deliver My Christmas Presents On Time This Year
SAN ANTONIO— In March Rafael Palmeiro stood up to Congress and pointed his finger saying he has never taken steroids in his career. He said that Jose Canseco and his book was a basically bull poop. He was an angry man playing a kid’s sport to the best of his ability. As the months went by, the baseball and sports world bought the act from the well-dressed Baltimore Oriole first baseman.
The picture that everyone has in his or her mind is that of Palmeiro sitting in a custom fitted Armani suit. Congress was wrong, many fans wanted to say. Congress has no business regulating professional sports, many sports talk show hosts were screaming back in March. And I’ll admit, maybe I got caught up in the hoopla just a little bit myself in giving Palmeiro a nod and a wink as he became “Mr. 3000″ during this baseball season and hit his way into the “500 Club”.
But then reality swung her other side of her face and showed just how ugly she could be at the worse time in the sports realm. On the first of August, Palmeiro became the most recognizable baseball player at the big league level to be hit with the mandatory ten-day suspension.
“When I testified in front of Congress, I know that I was testifying under oath and I told the truth,” he said during a telephone conference call Monday. “Today I am telling the truth again that I did not do this intentionally or knowingly.”
Okay, I can’t believe a word Palmeiro is saying anymore. As a matter of fact I can’t believe much of anything in 2005. I can’t believe that a 40-year-old man who has played at the big league level for over a decade would sit with a telephone in his ear and say that he didn’t intentionally take an illegal substance. I believe Palmeiro no better than I believe that the Easter bunny is going to deliver my H1 Hummer in my driveway this Christmas “on time”.
I’d have one of those rigs long before I would start believing anything that Palmeiro or anyone else who is now linked to the steroids issue in baseball.
BEING CANDID ISN’T A STRONG SUIT FOR THESE GUYS Sports fans cannot honestly believe that Palmeiro is telling the truth after getting caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Gosh darn, I’m hoping that America is waking up to the realization that sports figures are as fallible as the rest of us if not worse.
In the case of guys like Palmeiro, I’m putting them in the following category: if you lie, you’ll cheat and if you cheat, you will undoubtedly steal. Well guess what baseball a fan, Palmeiro has stolen from you because he lied, then he cheated. What did he steal from you? How about the simple things in sports like honesty, integrity and morality; things that seem to not be in American sports these days.
What Palmeiro and others like Barry Bonds has done is prey on the sympathies of the American guise of forgiveness. The baseball fan will forgive the baseball hero but when he/she is lied too, the baseball fan will turn on these players faster than one of these roid users can pop another supplement down their throat. But what’s worse is that guys like Palmeiro come onto the airwaves, point their fingers, feign their innocence and are not willing to be man enough to stand up to admit wrongdoing or to assert their innocence.
If sports fans are hoping that Palmeiro comes out and says, I took a supplement, they can forget it because the baseball union’s henchmen will not allow him to do so. I call it hiding behind the HIPPA laws because it’s so easy and convenient.
Athletes who are guilty of such malfeasance don’t have the balls necessary to stand up to the public scrutiny because they want to try and protect their image. Well here is one causal baseball fan that doesn’t give a damn about this player’s image.
In my opinion, Palmeiro wasn’t that great of a ball player. Longevity got him his numbers. He has never been a power hitter. He has never really been mentioned as someone out to get gold gloves every season. Of his 3,000 hits, how many of those were in clutch situations where praises of Hall of Fame ballots were constantly spoken about?
The only reason why people want to say he is a first ballot member is because it took him eighteen seasons or so to reach the numbers he currently has. In my own opinion, he and a few others that have had connectivity are now eligible for such talk strictly because it now takes that long to reach those goals. But a stellar ball player that could represent the hall? Come gang, let’s get real.
Maybe I’m not reaching that cynical stage with this steroids story because I’m just waiting for various individuals to fall. Ivan Rodriguez, please step up to the urinal. Juan Gonzales, please grab a vile. Even guys like Frank Thomas and Ken Griffey, Jr. are going to be pulled into this mess now because what Palmeiro did was implicate everyone by his use of a steroid.
I am not going to believe that he didn’t know what he was taking because in this day and age where these athletes are in such good condition and that nutrition is so vital in staying in shape, Palmeiro knew what he was taking. The biggest problem I have with him is the fact that he continues to say he’s innocent in spite of it all.
That is why many fans and media hounds have no faith in Major League Baseball and the players. Where is the culpability from the players in owning up to their mistakes? Palmeiro knows that the country is looking at pro athletes for the right answers and he goes and does this unthinkable act of moral treason to baseball fans.
There’s not an apology in his brain that will set this right. Maybe some can forgive and forget his transgression but I simply cannot. And I won’t unless the Easter bunny deliver my goodies this Christmas. If Palmeiro can help with that monumental task, then I’ll believe anything he says.