Sick to My Stomach

As I read through the Mitchell Report on steroids in major league baseball, I literally got sick to my stomach. The plain fact is, the problem and the cancer was so widespread, one had to be deaf, dumb and blind not to see the dimensions of the disease eating away at the sport, if indeed it can any longer be called a sport.

The users were and are cheats, finaglers, lawbreakers (at least to any moral code, as if these pampered, protected, unionized, agented "athletes" could ever in this screwed up society recognize such a thing as a moral code).

What are we  to tell our kids? Or the kids of tomorrow? Is baseball any longer a sport? Can if repurify itself?

It will take me some time to begin to think of baseball in the same old way I used to think of the sport. To love it. Revere it. Place it on a pedestal. A place of refuge in a world gone mad.

Right now, I can only think of professional wrestling, an absurd comedy totally made up in advance, a macabre show. And I am probably being excessively harsh to downgrade professional wrestling to the level of baseball.

I can only think of American politics, where shady deals and everyday lying are taken for granted as part of the "game".

I am unashamedly a "born again Christian" who freely admits with great sadness that I spent over 40 years in the snare of the devil. While smothered in sin, I admit to having been acquainted with some pretty shady ladies. But even then, these denizens of the dark shined incomparably when stood up or lied down next to today's baseball.

To find somebody in baseball who didn't really know is to find a needle in a haystack. Ask a German after World War II what they knew about the holocaust and nobody knew nothing. Yah, right!

In baseball, the fact is, everybody went along, not wanting to  upset the applecart, to ruin a good thing.

Owners, agents, players, team personnel - everybody knew. And everybody kept silent.

Now begins the "spin". It wasnt so bad (as  if the problem is ended). The game will go on (will it?).  The fans "love of the game" will override the rot within.

I could care less about the records. What I am worried about is the certainty that what I see on the field with my eyes is something even remotely fair or equitable, where the dice aren't loaded, where the game is something I would like my children or grandchildren to see, to admire, to applaud, to emulate.

Baseball needs an overhaul -- from top to bottom. Begin with the commissioner himself. The current commissioner presided over and went along with this rot. He must go. He must be replaced, and forthwith, by an honest man in sport, if there is any longer such a thing or a person. 

Any agent who represented any player tarbrushed with this cancer should have his credentials immediately lifted for life.

The current union leadership, which did more than go along, but who are guilty as the dickens of a massive coverup, has to go he way of the commissioner.

Any player henceforth found in violation should have his contract voided, and damages assessed for profaning the game.

Barry Bonds will surely say, if you find me guilty, you got to find all the others guilty too. And if you are honest enough to say it Bobby, then for the first time I can remember, I would agree with you.

If a player -- or a game -- allows cheaters and cheating into the game, the game itself becomes rotten. If these guys cheat on the field, what would you expect them to do off of it. Don't dare bring one of these guys into my home to spark by daughter or granddaughter and try to pretend they are upstanding fellows.

Because they aren't. They are not only not upstanding law-abiding people, they are not to be admired, or for that matter applauded, in any way.

The courts will do what courts do. Lawyers will have their say.

Public relations experts will flourish. There will be Pontius Pilates galore (let the blood be on your hands). And it will not be enough. Not by a long shot.

Orel Hershiser, a clean guy himself, once justified players excessively high incomes as only befitting an entertainer. Well, I am not entertained. I am nauseous.