Saturday, August 27, 2005

Something that has nothing to do with Belarus, Poland or me at all…

I have been having an on-going E argument about Baseball and steroids for the last couple of months with a friend from The san Francisco Bay Area. My friend is going a long with the current argument that the steroids have hurt the game of baseball and that the records have been abused by performance enhancing drugs. But I have been of the mind that what his happened has happened and that the backing away from what had obviously become the culture, and the accompanying finger pointing is wrong and unnecessary. However, my friend is a ‘purist’ and insists that Baseball be based on honesty and integrity and other such wonderful ideals. Anyway, this morning I kind of went off and spent a lot of time writing an argument. And because it took so long, I never got to my intended blog theme. Anyway, it is an opinion piece so because I mentioned Barry Bonds in the last Lukashenka article and because I am at the farm until Sunday night, I thought I should, at least for the purposes of keeping things moving, share this stuff here as well. Yes, it is filler, but it is still my writing and as this is still my blog(regardless of how hard I have been trying to do so I haven’t sold out yet) I can do as I like!


So here is the text from the last couple of letters between us.
are the last three entries.

Hey Bill,
I was killing time going through the baseball stats. And what I have for you is this: Without the ‘roids, baseball seems kind of dull, doesn't it? No 50 or 60 homerun guys. No 300 k's. Batting averages are down, era's are up, homeruns are down, k's are down... across the board. So tell the truth: Wasn't it kinda cool when they were all hopped up?

Yeah baseball (These days) is kinda boring but at least it is on an even keel and not about who has the most ‘roid wins.

Well, it is on something.

But Maybe this is another way to put it. It is about competition. All of it. It is like an artificial, made up little war (Just like Iraq) that is set up for the amusement of normal, workaday folks. It gives people something look at, to cheer for, to admire or to hate. It is big time wrestling and Hollywood and live theatre and family drama all rolled into one. Its about is struggle and it is about pain. Can one man throw a ball past another? Or can a guy armed only with a stick break up a game of control between two other guys (and their team).

But to win at this game requires an edge and because life just simply isn’t fair, sometimes a man has to do what a man has to do. Could Bonds have done what he did at the end of his career without ‘roids? No. But he also would never have needed to do it if it had not been done by Sosa and McGuire. Could they have done what they did without ‘roids? No. But they also could not have done it without those insidious strikes for more money that so pissed everybody off that all of baseball might have fallen completely apart just like Hockey is.

Its all about Competition and that’s why they all did what they did.. But never forget that we gave them the chance to do it because we supported it. We wouldn’t watch the game if we didn’t like it. But we did watch, and we did pay the money for the tickets. And we loved it. We loved our baseball. And not only that, we needed ‘roid baseball. We needed ‘roidball because we needed something more, something extra. It wasn’t enough to go out and catch a game, we needed to know that we were watching the best baseball of all time. We needed to see that these ballplayers were not just great athletes; we needed to see that they were the best of all time. We needed to see that they were BOHEMOTHS, LEGENDS, GODS and that there was no need to be jealous of our grandfather’s time. WE NEEDED MORE AND WE GOT IT.

And abut whether or not this was the best version of the game ever, well, you know it is true because you can just look at the records! (Sarcasm) We didn’t just have one Babe Ruth, we had several Babe Ruths. And what is more, we had not only a white Babe Ruth (MacGuire), we also had black Babe Ruths (Bonds and Maybe Griffy) and even Hispanic Babe Ruths (Sosa and Alex Rodriguez). And what is more, we had them every year for a while. I remember watching ball in the early 80’s. Twenty homeruns in Major League ball made you a potential all-star. Thirty and you were king. Forty? Well, forty was a fluke year and only guys like Mays and Mantle ever had fluke years of fifty. But look what we got. We got baseball on Roids! And it was great! Admit it! You loved it. We al did. It was so deeply satisfying, it was such a huge entertainment, it was so big and great and wild and heart breaking….

And that’s the point. We needed more and they gave it to us. And we bought it. And we loved it.

So it is not just that the players took performance enhancing drugs, they did. But we did too. If they became substance abusers, we did too. We didn’t just need baseball; we needed great baseball, the best baseball. We needed the sort over-the-top baseball that made all other baseball a shameless imitator. And we loved it and we decided to accept it because it sort of justified how much money everything costs, and how much recourses are spent just to keep the whole damned shooting match going. And really, as with all drugs addicts, it was all just a big justification, wasn’t it? We knew what was up, we knew what was going on and we went out and bought the tickets anyway. Right? Why? Because we needed it, man. We needed it bad. We deserved it. We needed the fix.

But listen to us now. We are no better than the proverbial whit as snow ex-prostitute. Do you think that we should take away Palmero’s records? Or Sosa’s? Sosa Corked his bats, Should we take away his records, pretend that they never happened? I don’t. Those guys were in there for two decades playing solid, professional baseball at a level that almost no baseball players ever do. Day, after day after day. Did they smoke, drink, swear, play around on their wives, watch porno, eat junk food, smoke pot, snort coke, shoot heroin or screw their own grandmothers? Do you care? Does it matter? Didn’t you get off on the show?

But for me, in the end here is the real question: Do you think Barry Bonds should have played this year? I do. I think he should have gone out there with a knee brace and hobbled up to the plate and took his hacks until his leg fell off. He should have gone in there and batted .232 with 20 Homeruns and 75RBI’s and having his knee drained every day and a cortisone IV in his arm every night. He should have gone out and die for the game, right there in front of us. He should have gone out and done his job, to the best of his ability even if it killed him. Or better said, he should have gone out and blown that 300 lifetime batting record of his by playing on shot knees, too late into a career because that is really what you are really supposed to do. You are supposed to want to play until they drag you off the field. He was supposed to have played because that is what you are supposed to do and, he was supposed to take anything he needed to be able to go out there and do it. That is what he should have done and that is why you are supposed to take the drugs: So you can get up and do it again the next day.

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More soon…


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