December 12, 2007

User Friendly

In less than 24 hours, the entire American media will be consumed with Roid Rage. Columnists and bloggers will never have had it so easy, with myriad angles to cover, so-called big names to out and moralizing to be done. But the question that probably won't be raised (because it doesn't sell papers) is: Does anybody actually care? Seriously. Do you really want to know if your favorite sports star has injected himself with more hormones than a Perdue chicken?

I mean, read any anecdotal baseball book and you'll see that ballplayers have been popping greenies since the Seventies. It's one of the things that ballplayers are all about: getting an edge, acting batshit crazy on the road, and winning the World Series. But you still like those players from the Good Ol' Days, right? You still collect their cards. Even if they were users.

And what about the Pittsburgh Drug Trials? Players were buying cocaine from the Pittsburgh Parrot, for chrissakes. Sure, it may have ruined Tim Raines's and Dave Parker's chances at making the Hall of Fame, but Keith Hernandez figured into that stuff as well, and well, he's still a well-liked baseball celebrity.

Baseball has probably weathered more vice charges than any other sport in America, and may rank second to soccer on the world stage in terms of public relations nightmare scandals and fuck ups.

Here's a handful of other good times: Hal Chase gambling on games while still on the field playing in them, Tris Speaker and Ty Cobb fixing a game in 1927, legends Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays banned for life for appearing at a casino, and who could forget Sammy Sosa losing his grasp on English before the Senate Committee? Yes, it's easy to make it through a whole post on baseball's storied scandals without even mentioning Pete Rose or the Black Sox. (Well, almost.)

So let's face facts. There will be hundreds if not thousands of articles written on the Mitchell Report. ESPN will launch special coverage and Pedro Gomez will go without sleep for six weeks as Barry Bonds will most certainly be named in the report.

Will card prices suffer? Cards of The Asterisk have had plenty o'time to have the bottom fall out, and if anything, it's been a slow decline. But what about others? I just don't see it happening. Well, unless Clemens is named...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think everyone will throw their hands in the air and say the sky is falling but nothing will happen to these players. Even if big name players are on the list so what MLB isn't going to go back and chnage anything. I can't believe the Olympics are harder on known cheaters than MLB but they are. It would be great if after the list came out Selig announced that every player listed was out for next season.

Elon Werner
Beckett Media PR