I’m not a baseball fan. I haven’t been to a dozen games in my life. So I don’t care if Rafael Palmeiro or any other baseball star took performance enhancing drugs. The question that keeps nagging at me is, do baseball fans really care? Do team owners and league officials really care? Can we all agree that everyone on the inside had to know this was going on? But all those home runs put asses in the seats.
Is there really all that much difference between Professional Wrestling and Major League Baseball? (Gasp!) “How can you even make that comparison,” said Barb. “Baseball is The American Pastime!” Maybe. But lots of folks watch wrestling and NASCAR races. Do those fans ask or care if the stars are juiced up in some way? Naah. They just want a show. And isn’t that what most baseball fans really want, too. A good show. Everyone has to act a little outraged about the recent scandal because it makes it harder to get all misty-eyed when they play Take Me Out to the Ballgame or Talkin’ Baseball. It’s like cheating spouses. Everyone says they want to know, but they really don’t.
Here’s the Good News: Baseball will be just fine. Fans will continue to flock to see the home run stars. We’ll come up with some kind of plausible deniability, just like Rafael Palmeiro. (Maybe we’re all on steroids and just don’t know it.)
I don’t follow college sports either but have to wonder if young athletes are emulating their big league heros. In 2003, the Center for Disease Control surveyed 15,000 high school athletes, with six percent admitting they tried steroid pills or shots at some point in the last 12 months. The same study showed a doubling of steroid usage by teenagers between 1991 and 2003.
So what the fuck do you want us to do, Steve?! Stop going/watching/listening to baseball games because some small percentage of players are cheating? Nope. Don’t care what you do. Like I said, I don’t have a dog in this fight? Just saying –from here– professional sports (NHL, NFL, MLB, BFD, PDQ, etc) looks a lot like the Roman Coliseum.
Would the gladiators have taken steriods if it meant the difference between first and second place? Oh yeah. (Hand me that needle, dude.)