Wednesday, April 05, 2006

George Mitchell: the Cleverest Criminal of Them All

Soapbox alert:

I am so sick of people questioning George Mitchell's impartiality, insofar as his ability to lead the investigation into baseball's steroid scandal.

How dare anyone question George Mitchell's integrity? Here's a man who has proven his commitment to this nation over and over again for decades. He has served the country and the world with honor and without scandal. He has even declined Supreme Court appointment and personal glory to do what he felt was greater service to his country.

And he was, perhaps more than anyone, responsible for brokering peace in Ireland with the Good Friday accords.

And people think he did all of this, while batting away the Jack Abramoffs and the petrodollar lobbyists and the pharmaceutical companies, thinking, "Ah, but someday, it will all pay off, when I've lulled them all into complacency, and they let me get into a position where I can help Barry Bonds."??? To what? To protect a few million dollars in Red Sox and Disney money?

Gimme a break.

As the New York Times pointed out, as a board member of Staples, it is also to Mitchell's financial advantage to produce a long report.

Baseball needs an enema, and the owners and broadcasters know it. It is to everyone's advantage to clean house, to be extra tough on anyone who broke the rules, and to make the game family-friendly (and advertiser-friendly) again. With the appointment of a stand-up guy like Mitchell, it looks like they're serious this time.

And on a side note, every time Barry Bonds or his defenders claim he's a victim of racism, it's an insult to genuine victims of racism... including Hank Aaron, who back in the day suffered through the ugliest kinds of racial taunts imaginable with dignity and self-control I never could have mustered.


Anonymous said...

Damn straight. And when they're done with this dust-up they need to look into the spit-ball. It's been illegal since 1920 yet Gaylord Perry and Phil Niekro (both in the Hall of Fame) built thier careers on it. Hell, Perry titled his autobiography "Me and the Spitter." Who knows how many of thier strikeouts and victories are ill-gotten. Get 'em out of there. String 'em up. They've sullied the great name of baseball for too long.

Michael Markowitz said...

You're comparing spitballs and injecting dangerous chemicals into your body? No wonder you're anonymous.

Ryan Arch said...

Sorry 'bout that. Obviously my smartass humor doesn't translate well in blogland. What I feebly attempted to show in jest was that I'm not sure this is one of those knee-jerk, black-white(colors, not races, issues). I bartend, see, and have had this conversation with many customers. And, as one of those annoying skeptic/devil's advocate assholes, I always want to see each and every side. And believe me, I still ain't sure about this one. But I'll go through what I ask whomever I've talked with this about.
First off, define your problem with this:
A) cheating? As I said (ballbustingly) in my earlier post, others have cheated as much and are in the Hall of Fame/records books, most likely because of it. So if it's for posterity-sake then you have to throw them out, too. Right?
B)Using steroids? Google steroids and baseball and 1970s. Or just Google Tom House. He's said steroids were prevelant in the majors from the late sixties. Probably not as strong or performance-enhancing but dangerous and cheating nonetheless. So it may not be just the current players.
C) Gives kids a bad role-model? What about Mickey Mantle advertising cigarettes. Or Nolan Ryan selling Coors Light. Neither illegal, sure. But something to think about nonetheless.
Where do you draw the line. Has baseball always been bad and we're now just figuring it out? Are we overreacting? Who knows. I sure as hell don't.
Ryan Arch. Yes, I'm Russ' brother. (And, yes, he wet the bed 'til he was 15. Just kidding.)

Michael Markowitz said...

I consider rubber sheets a sign of distinction, so no harm no foul on the bed-wetting! Russ is my man and can do no wrong in my book.

Kids' role models and all that mean nothing to me. These guys don't owe kids anything beyond what their consciences dictate. I stuck up for #23 when he was betting on golf and I'll continue to do so.

Cheating? From hair tonic to spit balls to spikes up to a million other cheats, unfortunately baseball has always had cheating, and you can't retroactively police it.

Where do I draw the line? At the collective bargaining agreement. I don't know anything about Tom House, I admit. I know most of the double standard rage seems to focus on Mark McGwire. If McGwire had been using a banned substance at the time of his record that record would, IMHO, be expungable. He wasn't.

If Bonds or anyone else can be proven to have used a banned substance since that substance was specifically banned, that's an entirely different story than going back through history, don't you think?

On the other hand I know better than to argue with a bartender, and with Russ's brother to boot, so...