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Roy Tucker
03-23-2006, 01:03 PM
I know most people are sick to death of talking about Barry Bonds and I'll take flak for posting this, but this column by Jay Mariotti of the Chicago Sun-Times pretty well sums up how I feel about the issue...

http://www.suntimes.com/output/mariotti/cst-spt-jay231.html

Selig again doing nothing but making fans sick

March 23, 2006

BY JAY MARIOTTI SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

SAN FRANCISCO -- Nothing much is at stake, of course, only the integrity of baseball, the validity of an almighty record, the culpability of a commissioner who let an entire era be corrupted by steroids, the duping of ticket-buying fans who just wanted to dig the long ball and, ultimately, the believability of sport and policy of truth in America.

So, when does the investigation start? Today, next month, next year?

Never?

And why is Barry Bonds being allowed to carry on as if nothing wrong has happened when, in mortifying reality, he is six home runs from one of the darkest events we've seen in the annals of competition? Outside AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, a banner on the facade turns a beautiful stadium into a pit of nausea.

BONDS 708.

Sorry, I'm in no mood to celebrate this guy, particularly after the latest pile of dirt was thrown on what should be his baseball grave. According to Game of Shadows, the smoking-gun book set for release today, Bonds allegedly tried to protect himself from the BALCO scandal by sending his lawyer into a series of meetings with the lab's founder, Victor Conte. A cover-up attempt, you might say. The book also reports that Conte instructed his clients to use the infamous "flaxseed oil'' excuse -- Barry's exact alibi -- if they ever were busted for using the designer steroid called "the clear.''

Yoo-hoo, Bud Selig? Are you with us, Bud? What do you intend to do, Bud? Do you realize, Bud, that a lot of people are going to call for your resignation if you don't do something? Like, right now, Bud.

I don't want Bonds to pass Babe Ruth or break Henry Aaron's record. I would like him to take his perpetual scowl, smarmy denials and Paula Abdul wig and immediately get out of our lives forever. I also would like the man who purportedly runs the so-called national pastime to feel the same way. The very nanosecond he heard about Game of Shadows, which alleges Bonds' rampant steroid use in comprehensive detail, Selig should have ordered the Incredible Sulk to his Milwaukee office, surrounded him with an intimidating phalanx of authorities and power attorneys and baseball legends and demanded to know the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You know, about Winstrol, Clomid, Deca-Durabolin, human growth hormone, insulin, the cream, the clear, trenbolone and anything else he may or may not have injected, swallowed, rubbed on his skin or placed on his tongue.

But two weeks have passed without an announcement or much of anything from Selig, whose silence is equal parts defiance and cowardice. The longer he goes without a full-scale outside probe of Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Gary Sheffield, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro -- anyone and everyone for as long as it takes -- the more Selig symbolizes the bloated era as the I-see-nothing lord who allowed syringes to be stuck into buttocks on his watch.

I'm not sure a sports commissioner ever has looked worse. As far back as 1995, Selig acknowledged that owners were discussing steroids and foolishly told the Los Angeles Times: "If baseball has a problem, I must say candidly that we were not aware of it. It certainly hasn't been talked about much. Should we concern ourselves as an industry? I don't know.'' Needless to say, he didn't do much for quite a while, not until Selig and the owners had used McGwire and Sosa to revive the game with their 1998 tater bash, which reportedly prompted a then-slim Bonds to grow jealous and allegedly bulk up on every performance enhancer he and personal trainer Greg Anderson could find.

If I were Selig, I'd aggressively want to learn about everything that took place under my blind eyes. Not only is it his right to investigate, it is his responsibility to fans who invest hearts, energy and money into a game advertised as legitimate. Just as his late predecessor, Bart Giamatti, relentlessly probed Pete Rose's gambling scandal via an outside investigator, Selig owes it to baseball's past, present and future to do the same. He should want to know exactly who was using and who was directly or indirectly enabling, which would require shakedowns of the Cubs, Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, the managers of those teams (hello, Dusty Baker) and the internal workings of every ballclub, really.

Gullible public must be his hope

Baseball can't move on without knowing the depth and extent of the smut. What once was innuendo has exploded into evidence and Capitol Hill shock-and-awe. And don't tell me Bonds didn't break a cardinal baseball rule as Rose did, that steroids weren't illegal in the game until recently. They have been illegal in this country, Bud, for some time. And in Bonds' case, federal prosecutors and the IRS are asking if perjury and tax evasion might be issues.

Yet Selig, typically, keeps hemming and hawing and hoping we have amnesia so we can hunker down and spend more money at his ballparks this season. He actually thinks the public is gullible enough that he can sweep the Bonds mess under the infield tarp. Evidently, he hasn't envisioned the abominable scene in, say, late April, when Bonds passes Ruth on the road amid boos from resentful fans and vicious criticism in the media. When I was growing up, I thought nothing in sports would be greater than Aaron's 715th homer and that no one would repeat the feat. Not only is Bonds about to do just that, the Giants have said they'll actually celebrate it.

Please, Bud. Be a leader, a commissioner, a man, or at least an asterisk-builder. Do something, for God's sake, before Bonds turns 2006 into his latest mockery.

"There really is nothing new,'' Mr. Light said at his profit-turning World Baseball Classic.

What about Game of Shadows? Shouldn't Selig have wanted a copy before it came out at Barnes & Noble? "A lot of people write books and do a lot of things to sell their books, and that doesn't really come into play here at all,'' he said.

What about Sen. John McCain and other members of Congress urging Selig to take action? And McCain's comment that it's "pretty obvious'' Bonds was on steroids? Does that mean anything? "Whatever decision I make will be on what I believe is what we should do and what is clearly necessary and is in the best interest of the sport,'' he said. "I'm not letting any other factor play a role. I'm generally very cautious, and it's stood me in great stead in my career because, frankly, you avoid making mistakes.''

Excuse me, Bud, but horrible steroids mistakes were made many, many years ago. And you still have exhibited little, if any, interest in clearing the filthy air. Even if you announce an "investigation,'' chances are it won't be much of one, mere window dressing to appease your critics. In a few weeks, you'll be there at the ballpark with your car-dealer smile, ready to shake Bonds' hand when he passes the Babe.

Whereupon a disgusted nation will reach for its collective vomit bag.

registerthis
03-23-2006, 02:59 PM
Whereupon a disgusted nation will reach for its collective vomit bag.

...and then their wallets. The sad reality is that there is not likely to be any financial loss for baseball over this. Fans won't stop attending games, watching TV or buying merchandise. They may vent frustration and seething anger, but we all know that when Bonds hits #715 and, perhaps, 756, ESPN and every other major network will be right there, filming it all in living tehnicolor.

Selig doesn't do anything because he doesn't have to. Don't get me wrongs--Bonds and his doping cronies make me sick, I don't cheer for any of them, and I loathe the pall they have cast over the game. Screw 'em, I say.

But, the fact of the matter is that there's no real impetus for Selig to do anything now. He'll point to the fact that baseball has a firm steroid policy in place that identifies and expels cheaters, and that the problem is under control. He'll say that what's done is done, and he'll move on to something else and let bonds have his moments. I don't think Selig has the stomach for the protracted legal battle that would surely ensue if he attempted to suspend Bonds or enact some other punishment that would inhibit Bonds' ability to break the record. He'll make some public admonishments of Bonds and the other steroid abusers, and that will be it.

BrooklynRedz
03-23-2006, 03:58 PM
...and then their wallets. The sad reality is that there is not likely to be any financial loss for baseball over this. Fans won't stop attending games, watching TV or buying merchandise. They may vent frustration and seething anger, but we all know that when Bonds hits #715 and, perhaps, 756, ESPN and every other major network will be right there, filming it all in living tehnicolor.

Selig doesn't do anything because he doesn't have to. Don't get me wrongs--Bonds and his doping cronies make me sick, I don't cheer for any of them, and I loathe the pall they have cast over the game. Screw 'em, I say.

But, the fact of the matter is that there's no real impetus for Selig to do anything now. He'll point to the fact that baseball has a firm steroid policy in place that identifies and expels cheaters, and that the problem is under control. He'll say that what's done is done, and he'll move on to something else and let bonds have his moments. I don't think Selig has the stomach for the protracted legal battle that would surely ensue if he attempted to suspend Bonds or enact some other punishment that would inhibit Bonds' ability to break the record. He'll make some public admonishments of Bonds and the other steroid abusers, and that will be it.

The league has already seen one major sponsor walk away from Bonds' record-breaking pursuit, and there are no others rushing to fill that void. This season should be a marketing dream, awash with credit card and beer sponsors and national campaigns with cheeky slogans. Not gonna happen and that will most definitely hurt MLB in the pocketbook.

savafan
03-24-2006, 12:13 PM
The league has already seen one major sponsor walk away from Bonds' record-breaking pursuit, and there are no others rushing to fill that void.

What sponsor was that?

Chip R
03-24-2006, 12:18 PM
What sponsor was that?

BALCO. ;)