Selig, Baseball Simply Worse Role Models For Young Athletes On Steroids Debate

By Gregory Moore
Updated: June 8, 2006

SAN ANTONIO � It�s been quite a while since I wrote anything on the steroids issue for the website or the feeders that subscribe to the site�s wire services. Even when I began writing on the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Op scandal, Barry Bonds� involvement and that of other Bay area athletes, the story was little more than a small wake up for the America conscience. Even when I wrote my story about how high school athletes could very well be emulating the professional players by taking steroids, very few parents or coaches contacted me about how big of an issue this is. I guess I should be flattered that when I �googled� myself and the word steroids, my past articles on this topic popped up but my name also popped up on such sites as Yet now that the story about Jason Grimsley has become the current flavor of the week, people around Major League Baseball are starting to take notice and many are saying that it is time for baseball to really clean up its act. Well that would be nice but there�s only one problem; I don�t think baseball wants to clean up this mess or its act. To make matters worse, I seriously doubt that Bud Selig and the powers that be at the baseball union don�t give a rat�s ass about whether your kids or your neighbor�s kids� health issues either.

Major League Baseball, the entity that supposedly is to be the sanctimonious reason why we have an American pastime, doesn�t care about Grimsley or Bonds or little Hector, Paul or Kenny down the street. When you really look at the situation that Grimsley has been able to portray, what you see is the very epitome of why Congress needs to go and yank that anti-trust exemption from the game. Donald Fehr doesn�t care what his union members are doing in front of millions of aspiring kids who want to become a professional athlete. I mean if you really want to talk about the social ills of our society and how they may be interwoven in the game itself, the mere fact that there is a union that would rather have fought tougher penalties on its members if they got caught with illegal steroids that firs time around should be your clue for the anarchy that reigns supreme on this topic. Where there should be outrage that something like the Grimsley case coming forth there is nothing more than adoration from some very myopic ball players who think that it�s noble to step away and not be a distraction. There are fans who would rather root for somebody who possibly have cheated his way into the sacred record books rather than at least hold him accountable for something that maybe at the minimum malfeasance on his part. But yet this country has been every cynical when it comes to policing its own social ills and maladies. Why should a steroid scandal of this magnitude be anything different? Because one day it could be somebody�s kid.

The tragedy of this whole story is that Grimsley is going to probably do some time and he�s going to get a chance to write a tell all book about how he learned how to beat the system. Grimsley will probably name names in his tell all book and guys like me will be saying, �What a scum bag� for him squealing like the town pig headed to the butcher shop. I wouldn�t be surprised if some individuals in my journalist world become down right sanctimonious themselves and claim how steroids is just wrong. But you know what? Being proud to beat your chest on a hot issue is one thing to drum up ratings but it�s lousy public speaking when you haven�t spoken on the topic at great length. How many sports writers or talking heads out there in the radio/television world have been saying from day one that it is time for baseball to take ownership in their slop and clean it up so that youngsters can understand what hard work really gets you as a reward/ There are very few people who fit that mold in my business; very few that definitely have the clout to make this a major topic of discussion.

Let�s look at this for a moment. What if this story wasn�t on the baseball plane but on the NFL or NBA plane instead? Better still what if this was done at the high school and college levels and the problem became so pervasive that the federal government started issuing mandates to the NCAA on cleaning up this problem. Would it get your attention? I�m sure it would. It would get your attention because that is so much closer to your kids or relatives who are at the age of playing varsity sports. It would hit home because despite you saying, �You�re not going to invade my kid�s right of privacy� when the school district implements a mandatory drug testing practice and you definitely won�t complain when that child has received a college scholarship for the athletic prowess that he or she has displayed. It won�t affect you until your great and gifted athlete at age 18 or 19 is found dead at a the college campus he or she was attending and an autopsy come back and says that anabolic steroid has been found in your child�s system. It won�t affect you until you notice the mood swings and the acne. You don�t notice or care about the problem until it is so close to you at home and you have to deal with the harsh reality of a funeral. But if you care about when that problem hits you at home, you should care about it now when professional athletes go out and get lit up before work.

The sad ending of this story is the fact that even to this day, nobody from the commissioner�s office, the union�s office, or amateur coaches and parents have realized the ramifications this new baseball scandal has caused. Baseball needs to quit smelling itself and realize that it is time for this game to clean up its act across the board. Baseball needs to police itself in a fashion that makes breaking a society law is not only criminal time but also end up someplace where you don�t want to be in life. Let�s face it, America�s pastime is passing us by on this issue and the tragedy that is befalling us with the ability to change is that we have gotten lazy and we don�t care. To many of us, this just a neighborhood issue. To others like myself, it�s an epidemic that can easily take some of most brightest and gifted athletes from us; those who don�t play for a living but play for the fun of it.