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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wake Me Up When It's Over

Note: for a much more coherent rant on this issue, click here.

Apparently something very important is happening today.

Ya know what? I just don't care anymore. From all indications the report is going to tell us what we already knew. The owners and players both turned a blind eye to the problem because everyone was making mad cash in the process. Well DUH. You didn't need to hand a moldy old senator a set of Inquisitor's robes to find that out. The only thing we don't know - and the only thing anyone gives a shit about - is who gets named in the report.

Names, names, all anyone wants is names... On ESPN News last night they had a "Breaking News" alert just to say that they don't know what names are in the report, but by God, they'd sell their children to a pedophile cannibal just to get one of 'em. No one cares about possible solutions to the problem, they just want a name so they can point at them and laugh at them and shake their head solemnly at them and tut tut at them and blacklist them and write sanctimonious op-ed articles about them and not vote for them and feel superior to them because they are cheaters.

If the entirety of the Mitchell Report consisted of George writing this in crayon on a sheet of orange construction paper:

" Alex Rodriguez never took any steroids ever in his life. He is a fine young man who loves his mother and is kind to puppies. He is free from all sin and vice and may in fact be the second coming of Jesus. All those other fuckers are the ones what did it. Including the commissioner, he's had more juice than Jack Lalanne "

every newspaper in America would have as their headline "A-ROD NAMED IN MITCHELL REPORT" in 300 point red blinking letters. That's right, they would invent blinking red newspaper ink on the spot just for that story. It would be one thing if George forced everyone to piss in a cup, and the report listed anyone whose sample came up dodgy, but any list of names in this report is going to be horribly incomplete and possibly inaccurate. Senator Mitchell may as well be Senator Iselin screaming that "there are exactly 57 card-carrying members of the Communist Party in the Department of Defense at this time!". Just replace Communists with steroid users and crank up the paranoia a bit. Nobody cooperated with the investigation except those who were forced to. The key witness was a Mets employee who got pinched by the feds. Management and the Union have been in a cold war since the 60's and neither side trusts the other. Oh, Mitchell also has a conflict of interest due to his relationship with the Red Sox. How is anything reliable going to come out of this?

I can tell you what the Mitchell report says right now. Players saw other players using and decided they needed it to get an edge to keep their roster spot and get a bigger contract. The union looked the other way to protect their members and their rising salaries. Management and team employees looked the other way because they were too worried about keeping their jobs to make waves. Ownership looked the other way because the revenue was pouring in. Just like in the movie Clue (the good ending at least), EVERYBODY did it.

Supposedly the report is also going to make suggestions on how to fix the mess. That's fine, but if you want anyone to actually pay attention to them naming names is not the way to go. The best way to get everyone scared enough to do anything about this is to state that you have a list of names, but not to release it. That way everyone assumes their name is on the list. Why not, they're all fucking guilty in one way or the other. Put out a name and you have an instant scapegoat to blame instead of addressing the actual problem and moving on. Baseball has to address it at this point, lest the morons in Washington decide to stick their nose in again. Hey idiot congressmen, try taking a stab at fixing the Middle East and the screwed up economy before you start messing with baseball.

This is a pipe dream though, because no one wants a fix, they want a distraction. Names will be named and reputations will be ruined just so we all have something to talk about this news cycle. Again, I don't care at this point. There is exactly one name out there that would legitimately disturb me if it was on the list, and I'm not even going to list it for fear that it would cause him to come up in a Google search for "Player Name + Mitchell Report" and he ends up tainted that way. That name will probably be on the list though, twisted out of some trainer worried about his job. So what if it will accomplish nothing but disappointing the fans. God Forbid anyone actually enjoys sports anymore. Sports is a business to generate increased revenue, it's news for journalists to expose, players are idols to be held up and worshiped and reviled when they don't meet with our approval or score enough for our fantasy team. Something fun to watch in your spare time? Naaah. Sports is fucking serious.

At 2pm ( or earlier if the right reporter finds the right cannibal pedophile) the report will come out, the names will hit the web in a flash and the fun will begin. Bud Selig will make his speech, the union will rebut, the sides will argue some more and nothing will get done. Well, maybe a strike in a few years if the atmosphere gets really toxic, but nothing productive. And I don't care. I have errands to run, work to do, naps to take and a pile of cards to scan for the next 80's card post. I don't have time to worry about a manufactured crisis baseball caused by their own actions. Hey, at least they are knocking the NFL out of the headlines for a few days.

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