As much fun as Major League Baseball was last night, the games, the action and the excitement were overshadowed by ESPN's Outside the Lines scoop on the deal Major League Baseball has reached with the former owner of Biogenesis of America, Tony Bosch, to rat on his former customers. The zeal with which MLB has pursued this case has known no bounds and reminds me of the ax-wielding swarms that used to arrive at liqueur stockpiles during Prohibition. All I can say to MLB is: Be careful what you wish for.
I have been on record many times as not caring one iota what ball players put in their bodies. I have never changed my stance on that. The players implicated in the past, whether it be the Mitchell Report or otherwise have ranged from great players to terrible ones. A great player is a great player and a terrible player is still a terrible player.
Plus, there are two other things that make this all unseemly for me. First, the largest percentage of players targeted in these things are always Hispanic players and this will be no different. That makes this all seem like some kind of witch hunt. The second is that there are so many grey areas already in what players can and cannot do. Toradol is okay. Blood transfusions and therapy are okay. Heck, even Cortisone could be considered a performance enhancing drug.
But the mess this particular case can lead to could be years in the boiler. With basically a guy like Tony Bosch, who is trying to save his own skin, providing he-said-she-said testimony and without positive drug tests to support it, players such as Ryan Braun will fight this in courts for as long as it takes. The players' union, which has been quiet up until now, will rear its head if 100-game suspensions are lobbed about.
You really have to question MLB's motivation in the zeal they are pursuing this. Are they simply determined to clean up a mess they created in the first place with their own blind eye during the 1990s? Are they trying to keep the government and international sports bodies off of their backs? Is this an end run on some of the bigger contracts in baseball in Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun? Who is to really know?
What is known is that this continuing mess will continue to darken the game for years to come and pull positive vibes and attention away from growth that has exploded in the finances of the sport. Big time media writers get to whet their chops like a meteorologist during an approaching hurricane and give them something to write about to save their jobs in a dying writer's economy for another couple of years which will prevent more players from reaching the Hall of Fame where they belong.
I write not only in a semi-media and journalistic approach but also as a fan of the game. As the latter, this is not what I want my focus on. Oh, some fans will use this as a reason to scream at players who make more money than fans will ever dream about and will side with the media-types. But the rest of us just want to watch our baseball, marvel at pitching match-ups and enjoy our favorite sport. Those of us that are in the latter category, and we are legion, hate this. And we hate it with a passion.
If that is what you want, MLB, by all means, go for it. Go get your zeal on. Go make your examples on fifteen or more Hispanics of the twenty total names. Go ahead and piss on South and Central American fans and nationalists. This is America and you have a right to pursue your agenda. Just do not be surprised when it all blows up in your face and the gains you have so vigorously pursued in the game are thwarted by this perpetual cloud you insist on salting. Get your lawyers in a row. You will need them.