Friday, September 07, 2007

Today's Roid Roundup

I'm somewhat embarrassed to say this, but a mainstream journalist (Jayson Stark) actually wrote something that I half-way agree with. His point was that there is a double standard when it comes to steroid controversies. Barry Bonds get crucified, but Rick Ankiel and Rodney Harrison get a pass. He's right that there's a huge double standard, and there shouldn't be. Of course the "single standard" that he and I would prescribe are probably quite different.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I don't care that Rick Ankiel used HGH. I don't care if Barry Bonds used HGH. There that is a single standard, and a very easy one. It involves no qualifiers about their positions, the rules of the game, quantification or qualification of empirical evidence, etc. Just say "I don't care." It's easy really.

If I'm watching a baseball game, I hope to see the highest level of play possible. I don't care what it took to get to that level of play, that's somebody else's problem. Now the law might care, and if it does, so be it. Arrest Rick Ankiel if you want, just like you arrested Michael Vick. If we start talking law, I would argue against laws against drugs, but would argue for laws against dog fighting, but that's beside the point. I can't be too unhappy with somebody getting arrested for breaking a well-known law.

Jayson Stark is generally a complete idiot who is wrong too often to be funny. But he's right. It's really all a matter of if people like a particular athlete or not. If they do, then they don't care about steroids. If they don't, then they're just looking for any reason to defame, and steroids is an easy one ("You cheater! Think about the children!") Stark better watch out, or he'll wind up being really cynical about the public. And that's not good for ratings...

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