Sports Commentary 7/16/13
As baseball’s All Star Game is played tonight, a dark cloud is about to fall on the game…again
FROM BALCO TO BIOGENISIS
If Major League Baseball played a game called “84 Questions”, to be played in conjunction with the 84th edition of the All Star Game, tonight at the home of the Mets, Citi Field in Queens, all 84 questions may have to do with the game’s approach to it’s drug problem, which, despite the blinders Bud Selig wears when dealing with the issue, is ongoing. Question number one might well be, “What does Major League Baseball have on Alex Rodriquez?” The one time all star third baseman is scheduled to return to the Yankees sometime next week after sitting out the entire season so far following a second hip surgery. Last night A-Rod hit his first re-hab home run in a triple A game, making him look ready for a return, but Major League Baseball may have other ideas. A-Rod reportedly is considering a deal in which he’d come clean about his involvement with Biogenisis, a Florida anti aging lab that allegedly dealt performance enhancing drugs to Major League Baseball players, in exchange for a 150 game suspension. Given that the ban for second offenders is 100 games, with a lifetime suspension for third offenders, the implication is that Major League Baseball has something that could keep A-Rod from ever playing again. At least two dozen players are being questioned by Major League Baseball in the ongoing Biogenisis affair, which makes the latest comments by baseball’s real drug kingpin as ludicrous as any he’s ever made. Commissioner Bud Selig, who’s head has spun so many times on this drug issue it makes our heads spin, in an All Star related question and answer session, proclaimed that baseball is “As clean as it’s ever been.” He added that baseball was not late to the party when it came to investigating the problem of drugs and meting out enforcement. That’s an interesting assertion from a man who looked the other way, as did all of his owners, while baseball’s record books were being assualted by a group of players who’s actions verged on felonious. For more than a decade Bud and the owners enjoyed the symphony of the turnstiles, composed by fans craving home runs, way too much to infer something might be rotten in St. Louis or San Francisco. Only when the stench became so bad even congress could no longer ignore it, did baseball finally decide to address the issue, then only with half measures and a testing program the players openly scoffed at as one that only idiots couldn’t circumvent. Baseball’s lame efforts did little to keep up with the designer drugs being produced to keep a step ahead of the game and, where we had Balco a decade ago, today we have Biogenisis. Only the name has changed, everything else, including an uninvestigated market in the Dominican Republic and the ignorance of the commissioner, remains the same. The best way to wrap up the All Star game of “84 Questions” would be with this one, “When is the commissioner going to admit he’s never come up with a solution to baseballs drug problem because he’s been a big part of that problem all along?” This is not the way to celebrate an All Star Game that, with two fresh faced starting pitchers making their All Star debuts, could have symbolized a new beginning for baseball. With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.