Thursday, August 15, 2013


(In Photo: Bart Giamatti)
In this day and age, PEDs users get a slap on the wrist. Gamblers still get crucified.  

Now, truth be told, for me personally... I do neither. In fact, I’m pretty boring. I rarely drink. I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke and I don’t gamble.  I also don’t take PEDs.  My parents get a blue ribbon for that, but I was always a wimp any way, I never did anything. I see now that that was good thing.  I’m not judging though. If you want to do something to yourself, it’s your body, I just know it’s not for me.

Pete Rose is one of the greatest baseball players of my time and to not see him in the Hall of Fame still after all these years may be the most ridiculous idea ever by Bart Giamatti.  Sure, at the time, when he was accused of betting on baseball, it was a big deal.  Now, years later, with Bart Giamatti dead and PEDs rampant in baseball… the idea of gambling on your own club as a manager… forgive me… it doesn’t seem that bad.  Now, don’t misunderstand me, betting on your own team is dishonest, but as Pete Rose said recently, read HERE:  “I picked the wrong vice... I should have picked alcohol. I should have picked drugs or I should have picked beating up my wife or girlfriend because if you do those three, you get a second chance. They haven’t given too many gamblers a second chance in the world of baseball... I made mistakes. I can’t whine about it. I’m the one that messed up and I’m paying the consequences... However, if I am given a second chance, I won’t need a third chance."

You know what? Pete Rose is right.  We don’t shame players who cheat in baseball… we temporarily remove them and then they come back. Sometimes they come back after 2 offenses.  Look at Manny Ramirez for example.

Look at Ryan Braun who is now serving his suspension so he can "come back and play, and put this all behind him."   Why? Why does baseball give more chances to PEDs users and meanwhile Pete Rose, who was an excellent baseball player, still banned from the game?  Sadly, Bud Selig's theory is, “We need these guys. These are our star baseball players, and if we show we are punishing them, kids will understand.” (That's my take of course) No, they don't Bud.  Kids actually think, "Wow, I can cheat and it's a slap on the wrist."

I often wonder if Bart Giamatti were alive today in this world of PEDs, if he would change his mind on Pete Rose.  I believe that Giamatti would do something historic.  I believe that listening to Rose these days and seeing guys like Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun admitting to using and cheating, he'd ban them from this great game much like Mike Trout had suggested, read HERE.   And, after a few meetings with Rose reps, and re-reviewing the materials on Rose and his case, years later, Giamatti too would realize that Rose's punishment should be concluded.  That would be followed up with a re-instatement and Pete Rose's name would be on next year's ballot...just like that. Why do I think that? Because I think that Bart, while well intentioned to ban Rose from this game, also could balance his greatness as a player with the PEDs users these days... the "cheaters", the "real gamblers" in this game.  

This whole recent PEDs scandal disappeared as fast as it came, didn't it?  Selig made his “statement” like he was a dad and ARod was his 9 year old who knew he was in trouble. The Selig-Letterman appearance annoyed me.  I realized something…. “Selig is just as bad as the rest of them.  Do you think Giamatti would have done what Selig did? Do you think he would have went on Letterman? Hell no. Giamatti would have called a press conference. He would have said “This is what we know”, he'd map it out A to Z and say “Now these players can challenge us all they want, but at this point they are banned from baseball.”  He'd clean his hands at that moment and then, at that point, he would have also reevaluated Pete Rose and his gambling issues and realize that in this new world of cheating, Rose served his time...his punishment is over. 

Selig dropped the hammer and now Alex is appealing and playing.  The others accepted their punishment and will disappear just so they can return.  In the end, everyone wants their money and everyone wants to get back to playing.  Why? Because baseball is a Country club and it's a money factory for the Commissioner.  Selig just wants to be the hero in the end.  He wants to be the guy who cleaned up baseball even though he was the one who let this PEDs mess explode after the 1994 strike.  When money comes in, people get greedy. Selig got greedy.

In the end, Bart Giamatti would have been a bigger hero letting the PEDs players leave the game forever, because, while he was one tough businessman, a tough commissioner, he was also one tough cookie who would have picked morals over the bottom line.  Sure, the game would have suffered for a bit banning these guys for life, but fans are fed up now and they just want a clean game. That's why I'm putting my money in the Chris Davis basket. (Read WE SHOULD ALL BE ROOTING FOR CHRIS DAVIS, it's symbolism.) Giamatti would be the hero if he were alive today.  Selig, even though he’s vowed to finally “clean up the game” is actually the goat in all of this… because the players will be back and you know what? In about 8 years, 10 years, the cycle will start again, because cheaters always cheat and there is always an edge out there… the object is to find the undetected “edge” and come out on top and that's what the players will continue to do... take a chance... take a gamble.  It will happen again.  Why? Because Bud Selig didn’t do a thing, except for secure his legacy as the guy who “cleaned up” baseball… or lack there of.

You know when I will truly praise Bud Selig? When he does 2 things... he admits he turned a blind eye in the 1990's when PEDs saved baseball, and he reinstates Pete Rose, one of the greatest players ever,  before he leaves as commissioner.  Be a man Bud. Take charge and stop this Dog and Pony show, we're on to you.

Sure, it's a provocative take... but that's how I see it these days.

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