The Boys Are Worried, the Girls Are Shocked
You bet I'm out of touch, and that's the very reason it's important everyone in the media keep laying the wood to the rule-breakers and ne'er-do-wells. Someone has to draw the line. Someone has to keep hold of standards. Someone has to give voice to those who know there's more to life than winning. How you win, how you prepare, the ethics you bring to the ballpark and yes, to life . . . guess what? That matters.
It's when we lose track of this, when we as a society are willing to cut too much slack, when we in the press stop drawing a hard line, that deep trouble comes. You get the last eight years, probably longer: a fool's paradise, not just in sports and entertainment, but in politics and the economy.
Excuse me? Manny Ramirez is as bad as Dick Cheney? The slippery slope starts at Chavez Ravine and grinds its sad way to Foggy Bottom? Bonds applying the Clear is the same as Madoff making your retirement disappear?
Baseball is a game. That too many of us take it too seriously doesn't mean it's more than a game. It's entertainment. And while it might be horrible that Manny and Roger and Barry and A-Rod did things many of us don't approve of, that doesn't mean we didn't laugh at Richard Pryor making jokes about being coked up or relish the writing of a oft-times drunk like Faulkner. Indeed, one might make an argument that some sort of abuse is integral to entertainment. (I'm not that perverse to make the argument myself, but I admit to enjoying the kink of suggesting it.)
And, once again, I have to make the argument--who really knows what "performance enhancing" drugs do for baseball players? (That they get called that might be a hint, for like sexual performance enhancers, the effect might all be in one's head, so to speak.) After all, the moralists like to act as if only hitters (and Clemens, who everyone just knows is an asshole) juiced up, hence more offense. I mean, if pitchers were doing it too, wouldn't that make the playing field even, if on a different plane? And then there's the moralists' ability to ignore how the majority of players named are completely mediocre--scan the Mitchell Report, for instance, and admire the suckage that is Manny Alexander, Gary Bennett Jr., Nook Logan, Scott Schoeneweis, et drecka. Until scientists manage to do actual experiments, what someone assumes a drug does for a player is simply guesswork.
Unless, say, that someone spends lots of time with the players. Like, say, a beat reporter. That kind of journalist would no doubt be way ahead on this baseball doping story and bring all the cheaters down.
Just like the brilliant reporters would have saw through the lies of Iraq's WMDs and not actually parroted official bullshit so it was shiny, war-allowing shinola. Cause, after all, reporters like Streeter are the last defense against the collapse of all that's good, true, and full of itself.