So the Mitchell Report was released today, the findings of former Sen. George Mitchell’s report concerning use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. Unsurprisingly, Barry Bonds was mentioned in the report several times. But the best part is that the guy mentioned the second most was Roger fucking Clemens.
This delights me to no end, and not just because I absolutely loathe the man, or because I’ve been saying for years that the guy was obviously taking some kind of performance enhancing drug. No, why I’m so giddy over this news is the chance to revel in the hypocrisy and incredulousness this reveals in most sportswriters and sportscasters who report on baseball. The same hacks who have been railing on Barry Bonds over the past few years have been salivating over Roger Clemens. The fact that Clemens is a white good ol’ boy from Texas while Bonds is an ornery black man I’m sure had nothing to do with that at all.
Anyway, sports-hacks (the term I’ll be using to encompass both writers and talking heads on TV) have been conveniently rewriting history over the past few years to pretend like it was OBVIOUS that Bonds was guilty (even though he’s never failed a drug test) and they always knew it (even though most of them only started writing/saying this stuff after the evidence started to mount). They point to the incongrous fact that Bonds kept getting better and stronger as he got older as evidence that things weren’t on the up-and-up (which: duh). But these same dumbfuck sports-hacks had no problem lavishing praise on Clemens (despite the fact that he’s an even more self-involved and surly fucker than is Bonds), even though… he kept putting up insane numbers the older he got. He won his 7th Cy Young Award at the age of 42. The next year, he posted an ERA of 1.87. What did the sports-hacks do then? Raise doubts over the likelihood that someone that old could perform so well without some kind of chemical help? Well if you choose “praise what a miraculous performance it was for the ageless wonder!”, you’re a lot closer to the truth.
Which gets into what I’ve been saying and thinking about steroids and baseball for awhile now. It’s too late to be retroactively moralizing about what players did while Major League Baseball turned a blind eye toward steroids. While it may be tempting to dismiss the numbers of Bonds, Clemens, or Mark McGwire and deny them entry into the Hall of Fame, its a wasted effort, because MLB and the sports-hacks are complacent in the whole affair. How many players were tired of trying to compete with other juiced players who were winning awards and getting big contracts, and thus decided to start juicing themselves? How many looked around at all the attention McGwire and Sammy Sosa were getting in 1998 by these same pearl-clutching sports-hacks and started thinking that they need to get big too? Sure, Bonds hit a lot more home runs because he was juiced, but how many were off of pitchers (like Clemens, or Eric Gagne, or Andy Pettite to name a few who were named in the Mitchell Report) who were also juiced?
Anyway, I look forward to visiting Fire Joe Morgan, one of my absolute favourite websites, over the next few weeks while the point out the hypocrisy of sports writers who quickly try to pretend they were on to Clemens (and others) the whole time.