Saturday, December 15, 2007


This post, that is. Apologies in advance for the impending complete lack of cohesiveness.

Last weekend, I completed the Dallas half marathon. Obviously, I remembered my shoes this time. I hadn't originally intended to enter that event, but did so simply to prove to the naysayers who were certain I had forgotten to bring my shoes to San Antonio so that I could avoid participating. I definitely wish I had remembered my shoes for the original event, as I think Dallas was probably more difficult, particularly for a first-timer like myself--more hills, a larger number of participants, and the weather turned out to be frightfully cold (I think it was 37 or so at race time). I was slow but I finished it and got my medal. My cute mom got her Sunday School class to pray for me (I'm sure she realized I needed all the help I could get).

On to the Astros! Last year's motto was "Return of the Good Guys." Some have proposed that the new motto be "Who are these guys?" The team has been churned so thoroughly that of position players, only the '07 Opening Day starters of Lance Berkman, Carlos Lee, Hunter Pence, and Brad Ausmus are returning. We have new players in center, at first, short, and catcher as well, as Ausmus will probably only catch Roy Oswalt. Our starters in right and at third only played in those positions toward the end of last year, in addition. The starting rotation remains intact--which is not what anybody was hoping for, actually--but the bullpen has eight new faces. The team turnover is highlighted by the 40 man roster--fifteen of the players listed have not yet been assigned jersey numbers!

While one is considering team mottos, the Mitchell Report might make one want to consider the catch phrase "Were there ever any good guys?" I take issue with the report on certain levels--certainly, it is highly based on hearsay and very little of the accusations would hold up in a court of law. Any report that sites Jose Canseco's "Juiced" (sorry, can't get Blogger to underline anything today) as a reference has to be a little suspect, in my mind. Given that, I think Jayson Stark at ESPN was correct when he said that names should not have been given. Also, I personally think that names should not have been given simply because there is no way that the list is inclusive. On the other hand, to state that the problem is pervasive, and yet not name names, would have allowed the shroud of secrecy to remain, thereby continuing to enable the culture that created the problem. I mean seriously, will the players' association even consider changing the CBA without threat of poor publicity? Doubt it.

I have to admit to being surprised by those fans who seemed to be floored by the contents of the report. Where have they been? This subject has been flogged to death for long before I was much of a baseball fan, and yet people are surprised that players actually--no, wait, it's hearsay--allegedly used performance-enhancing drugs? Bloggers are talking about everything from life-time suspensions to actual jail time. I think a certain disenchantment with the game right now is expected, I certainly feel that way. But anything beyond that may be unreasonable, in my opinion. For one, as I noted, I doubt any of the allegations would hold up in court. Also, the list is probably not fully inclusive. I'm sure there were many more players using, and certainly the list is just as notable for its absences--Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa--as its presences. So how do you decide who gets suspended, who gets prosecuted, and who gets ignored? There's no fair way to do that, in my opinion. I think the best thing to do is to move on. The new standard is zero tolerance--set it, set standards to enforce it, and go forward. The Steroid Era is a period in the history of baseball, just like the deadball era, the segregation/desegregation era, etc. Let's forget talk of asterisks and view the body of work in its context, and move on.

Fix it, and forge on.

UPDATE: Andy Pettitte admitted to using HGH in 2002, essentially corroborating Brian McNamee's testimony. Which, of course, slaps some serious doubt on Roger Clemens' denials of same testimony. I expect their friendship just got a wee bit chilly, but my personal feeling about handling the overall situation is the same.


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