Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sandlot Truths

You do know I'm a Yankees' fan, right? However, being a Yankees' fan, or a member of Red Sox Nation, or rooting for any particular baseball team means that, as a subset, I am a fan of baseball-period.
I'm counting the days until the Double-A franchise of the San Francisco Giants in the Eastern League, the CT Defenders, open their 2008 season in Norwich's Senator Thomas Dodd Stadium and intend to enjoy as much baseball as they can offer, as often as I can.

Treating all of the above as 'read', instead of being happy that pitchers and catchers reported for spring training this past Thursday, I'm watching baseball implode as Roger Clemens, Andy Petitte and others, testify before a House Investigative Sub-Committee (lemme get this straight, we have right now: war in Iraq; economy heading into the abyss; almost a million more uninsured being added to the rolls every month and Congress is holding hearings on steroids in baseball? What next? A special prosecutor to find out why Diet Dr. Pepper tastes more like original Dr. Pepper?).

Do I think all the allegations of 'juicing' are true? No. Do I think any of them are true? Yes. Do I fear we may be engaged in a Vietnam-like 'we had to destroy the village to save it' situation when it comes to 'getting to the bottom' of this morass? Sadly, that's what I see happening and when it does, what will we want to pretend the point was.
Thanks to my wife's parenting, my children, who are actually adults themselves, Patrick Michael, at 25, and Michelle Alison, at 20, know the difference between right and wrong and understand the futility and inherent risks to destructive behavior.

Congress isn't protecting my children, or yours, from the evils of steroids or human growth hormones--that is our job as parents and if we can't pull that off, it may be time to cash in our belly-buttons and leave this orb to others.

From what I saw the other day, perhaps because this is a presidential election year, we've injected (oh dear, such a word to use in this context! I hope St. George of Mitchell and the Archangel Bud of Selig can forgive me) partisan politics into this mess. So we have, I think I read where the Mitchell Report listed 83 names, close to 100 major league baseball players who are only accused of, but already convicted in the court of public opinion, of illegal and unlawful substance abuse--simply put, they cheated and got caught. The hero of this Through the Looking Glass tale is shaping up to be Jose Canseco-proving that God does have a sense of humor and no longer follows baseball.

So instead of reading about Joba Chamberlin's first pitches, I'm watching Roger Clemens' last moments as a public figure. So much for the presumption of innocence. He must've done something; there are TV cameras here so let's watch. That we continue Slouching Toward Bethlehem is no longer important. Here's Johnny to tell you what today's contestants will receive.
-bill kenny

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