Thursday, February 12, 2009

Baseball's Hypocrisy

Now that A-Rod has admitted his use of steroids--as if we didn't know already--the powers that be in Baseball are tsk, tsk'ing.

[Aside: ESPN's SportsCenter took up nearly half its broadcast the other morning with excerpts from A-Rod's candid interview on the subject. The Curmudgeon's 11-year-old son's reaction: "who cares?" He wanted to see basketball highlights.]

[Aside II: Congress says its "too busy" with the economy to convene hearings on A-Rod and steroids. Thank goodness!!]

Oh the hypocrisy of Baseball. C'mon, do we really think that Baseball's commissioner, the owners, the managers and the others who run the game didn't know about rampant steroid use in the early part of this decade?

Let's face it: steroids were good for baseball in a business sense. More home runs, brighter stars, broken records. Baseball's leaders didn't really think all those big home runs were because players had suddenly--over the course of a year or two--gotten better. They knew something was up, but they turned a blind eye.

It's the same as lawmakers and regulators when they see a housing market artificially inflated by sub-prime "liar" loans: who wants to spoil a good party.

So don't blame the players (ok, blame them a little). They were just doing what the leaders wanted. If Baseball was serious about the scandal, it would fire the Commissioner and his entire staff and replace them. But then the owners--whom the Commissioner serves--who benefitted from the steroid use would still be in place, and their incentives would be the same, if not greater in this economic downturn.

Major league sports is about one thing and one thing only: $$$. As the boy says, "who cares?"

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