Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Modest Proposal: Amnesty

I'm already tired of hearing about Roger Clemens and whether he did or did not take steroids or HGH. Same goes for Barry Bonds. I don't really care anymore. All the other baseball players who have either been caught with a drug test, or admitted to having used them, have inexplicably made the self-agrandizing Jose Canseco the most credible person in this whole saga. In the interests of Major League Baseball, of which I would consider myself a fan, I have a proposal to make this all go away, and it can be summed up in one word: Amnesty. Forgive me if you've heard this somewhere else, but I honestly haven't so don't go accusing me of plagiarism. Here is my plan:

  • For all players who have been caught with MLB drug testing, continue to hand out fines and/or suspensions.

  • For all players who have admitted to using (Andy Pettitte, Brian Roberts, etc) , but have not been caught with a drug test, hand out similar, but perhaps less severe fines/suspensions.

  • For all other players who have been accused in the Mitchell report, or have been alleged to have used PEDs by someone credible, but have not been proven to have used or admitted anything, give full amnesty. For retired players, fuhgetaboutit.

  • For all players, from this point forward, institute a stricter drug testing program that detects steroids, HGH, horse tranquilizers, fish paralyzers, etc. Test randomly, and hire an outside entity (whoever the Olympics uses) because it's obvious that MLB cannot police themselves. Make suspensions for PEDs more severe. Allow contracts to include out clauses for positive tests: i.e., if Joe Shortstop gets caught X number of times, the team has a right to void his contract.

If this path is followed, it will help everyone let go of the past and move on. You can't take away records, you can't take away stats. It's becoming increasingly apparent that many players were using PEDs, so there is no way to tell which records are good and which aren't. How many of Barry Bonds' HRs came against pitchers that were also juicing? How many of Clemens' strikeouts were of juiced hitters? How many team victories were aided by steroids-using players? We'll never know. This era (the last 10 years or so) will forever be tainted as "The Steroid Era," but so what? Everyone knows players were juicing, and their legacies will be tarnished because of it. But continuing to investigate past transgressions will only serve to take the focus off the game itself. In a way, continuing to focus on the past is burying your head in the sand about the present and future. Instead of burying their heads, MLB should just bury the past. Let's allow congress get back to what they do best: soliciting sex from random strangers in airport bathrooms, driving drunk, breaking campaign promises, and screwing interns.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently made a petition to this effect:

I googled this issue (in case some one else had already done this petition) and came across this site. In any case, I agree with you. And sorry if some of the wording in my petition is a bit pretentious (the preserving baseball part), but I really believe it's the only logical solution.