Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Steroid Hearings: Best Reality TV Ever

Maybe it's because I love baseball so much, but the Congressional hearings on steroid use in baseball were some of the most riveting television I have ever seen.

Some random thoughts on what happened during the course of the day:

1) Rafael Palmeiro is a guy I would never accuse of doing steroids. That doesn't mean I believe or don't believe he ever did, but did you see the look of intensity he gave that committee when he pointed his finger at them and said he never juiced? He looked like he was going to tear off someone's head of they told him otherwise, and I like mine attached to my neck.

2) You now have to officially suspect Mark McGwire. No more letting him off the hook just because he's retired. No more letting him off the hook just because we like him better than Barry Bonds. After essentially pleading the fifth (not to mention coming close to tears), it would no longer be fair NOT to talk about McGwire whenever you talk badly about Bonds. I don't think it's fair to talk about either one of them right now when we really don't know anything for sure, but I DO know it isn't fair to pile speculation on Bonds while giving McGwire a pass.

3) Despite the fact that the committee really let him have it, Bud Selig actually came off pretty well to me. He looked befuddled and tired up there, but that's certainly understandable. You have to remember that baseball wouldn't have a policy AT ALL if not for Selig... even if it is a joke.

4) Manfred and Fehr, the two people MOST involved in drafting the steroids policy, came away from this looking worse than anyone, but for very different reasons. Manfred looked bad because: a) he looked incompetent due to the fact that baseball announced in January that it had a policy and they still had only submitted a working draft to the committee (which included errors), and b) he lost his cool (over and over again). But I think Fehr was the least sympathetic of the entire bunch because he couldn't answer a SINGLE QUESTION directly... which should come as no surprise since the players association's union leaders are, in my opinion, more to blame for this disaster than anyone else.

5) Finally, Representative Waxman looks like some kind of rodent with glasses. And this guy lives in California? Don't you think it's ironic that he's sitting on a committee for investigating steroids when his own governor juiced?

I figured this whole thing would be a waste of time (and it probably still is), but somebody did make an excellent point I hadn't considered before: does it make any sense that baseball has a zero tolerance policy against gambling (something that is legal in certain places in America) while having a "5 strikes and maybe you're out" policy against an illegal substance, the distribution of which is a federal offense?


chornbe said...

I think it's trez cool that the US friggin Congress can take the time out of their mundane little sidebar tasks of running the country to discuss the use of substances that are fundamentally publicly available in the field of entertainment sports.

My tax dollars - *hard* at work.

Go, Washington!

Senator, senator, He's our man.
If he can't prosecute 'em, no one can!!


robustyoungsoul said...

Are you kidding me?? I love it when the government wastes time on stuff like this.. it means they're not screwing up more important things.

Remember Calvin Coolidge? Can you name anything at all that happened during his presidency? Nothing happened because he didn't DO anything. Best president ever.

Folk singer Utah Philips jokes that if he run for president, he would promise to drink beer and play pool and do absolutely nothing. I'd vote for him in a heartbeat.

chornbe said...

Oh, a good point to be sure. But it still tweaks something deep and primal in me to see this crap going on.

Maybe I'm just a restless revolutionary at heart. I can see so many things that could be made so much better with just a smattering of common sense thrown in here and there.