tgr4life's Blog
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Dear Anyone,
     Welcome to the new perennial phenomena. Superbowl hang-over?  No.  College hoops gaining momentum?  No. Pataxony Phil seeing his shadow and running back into his hole for the next 6 weeks?  Nope- not that either...  But then if someone asked this Phil if he would like to go sleep for the next 6 weeks?  Heck, I'd crawl back into my hole too.  For me, it used to be the annual day that pitchers and catchers reported for Spring training.  But now thats gone as well. 
     Our new annual February event seems to be the further destruction of a once admirable sport.  Reporters now flock to Arizona or Florida not to report on the hopes of that teams coming season.  But to distract the club as it scrutinizes an individual that not only tarnished its career but the game in playing that way.
     In February 07, it was Barry Bonds facing a federal indictment alleging that the he lied to a federal grand jury regarding his illegal steroid use.  Barry Bonds now owns the prolific career home run record.  An Impossible feat for anyone, even Hammerin Hank Aaron when he built that record.
     In February 08, it was Roger Clemens testifying before Congress.  Defending himself as the best Right hander that ever was against the accusations of a washed up ex-trainer. Roger shook hands and kissed babies running his campaign of innocence through the halls of congress.  Not even his good buddy George W. Bush could pardon the man.  But then as an owner of the Rangers where most of this happened during that time- he is to blame as well.  At this time, the FBI continues to gain evidence that Clemens perjured himself before Congress.
     Now- it's February 09 and the sights of the accusatory have settled upon the usher of baseballs "clean" age. Alex Rodriguez is a player still in his prime and more than apt to accomplish many things record wise in baseball.  But now, no matter how it's spun, no matter how it's told later, he is as likely to be viewed as repercussion of the earthquake that shook the game to its core.
     How did this happen- well, you have to remember...  Two decades ago, baseball closed its doors to its fans destroying nearly 2 seasons of play if not more.  Americas' pastime became a battle over players versus owners and who should really be getting paid.  Collusion dogged the sport at the time when owners would put an arbitrary price on the head of any player and no club would excessively exceed said amounts.  But no one remembers that anymore...
     Why? 
     It's simple.  As soon as baseball realized it had lost droves of fans to other sports like the NBA and the NFL, they had to find a way to get people back to being interested again.  Records had to fall, new greats to the game had to be named and witnessed.  Baseball would sell its soul at that time.  They would turn a blind eye.  And this blind eye is now a black eye on the entire sport.  Sport- if you can even call it that anymore.  Last time I checked, sport was an action based on ability, skill, determination and strategy.  Not cheating. 
     Released reports over the weekend show that Rodriguez was one of 104 players who failed random steroids tests in 2003.  Who else did, I haven't had the heart to look through the whole thing.  A-Rod was supposed to be the man that led baseball back into its clean age.  The man that on his natural ability alone would crush records and those that held them with the help of performance enhancing drugs would have those asterisks next to their names as runners up to a real great.  Commissioner Selig and the rest of baseball hoped it could unload all this baggage on those of McGwire, Sosa, Tejada, Bonds, and Clemens.  But just like anything, time brings everything to the surface.
     Now, as a fan of baseball and a person that loathes and despises nearly all things Yankee I cannot say that I am not sad to see this heat.  To see the burners turned up on their club regarding yet another HOF player on their roster coming under the spotlight.  I cannot say I will not enjoy spin doctor Scott Boras try and find a way to squirm his client out of this mess.  I cannot say I am not surprised.  Bar-roid Bonds, Roid-ger Clemens, and now A-Roid...  It's sad- but then I should have seen it coming...  That nick names does have a ring to it.
     What does surprise me is that the players association had legal permission to destroy the drug tests that were that old, and they didn't.  Now that is not something I ever thought I would see the MLBPA do.  Not that we shouldn't have known- but that we should have known then. 
     When I was a kid- playing Wild Cat baseball I never imagined the guys I wanted to be were actually more like me, than I them.  They were normal people, they weren't super human- they were normal.  Like me.  But instead of imagining to be a hero- they just pretended...  They cheated and were just pretending to be that hero.
     So many reasons we came to ball parks, watched games, traded cards, and celebrated wins now seem to me more hollow now.  I remember talking to people about seeing Aaron hit his last homer.  Seeing would have been spectacular.  Especially now that I wonder if I even want to admit to my daughter that I watched Roger pitch all those Cy Young seasons, A-Rods spectacular MVP season with the Rangers, and then Bonds hit his historic record breaking home run...  Makes me wonder what I can share with her that I enjoyed during those times?
Sincerely,
 Wondering in Fort Wayne

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