Hard to maintain our level of steroids outrage …


    Did you notice that the gasps and the collective indignation wasn’t quite at the fever pitch that you might have suspected to learn that another of the top stars in modern baseball, Manny Ramirez, has been tainted by broad brush of performance-enhancing drugs?
   Oh, sure, the blaring headlines were there, the cable television news chatter, the great big national sigh as the country shook its head in dismay at yet another revelation that one of the big boys was “cheating,” but our outrage seemed forced and almost a ritual. Is anybody really that mad or surprised anymore?
   Speaking of rituals, all the traditional journalism battalions were marshalled and deployed in the usual fashion, thus rounding up the requisite quotes from an untainted modern star – in this case Chipper Jones – lamenting the whole affair and noting that the taint can’t help but be applied to any number of players who quite clearly wouldn’t think of doing anything illegal. I think he meant himself, at a minimum.
   It says here that the decibel level on the outrage meter is going to continue to decline over time, even if/when there are additional revelations about new guys whom we previously couldn’t have imagined would be involved in something so despicable.
   It’s just human nature that we can’t keep getting worked up to the same degree about events that get repeated with such frequency, but there’s more going on here. Our collective angst diminishes because at some level many of us realize that we’ve overblown the whole thing in the first place. Our initial outrage, while understandable given all the chanting from the sidelines and the peanut gallery to encourage it – think presidents, Congress, the fourth estate, maybe Joe the Plumber – was overcooked from the start.
   In 20 years we’ll look back at this and wonder what the fuss was about. The professional athletes who have been doing this stuff were/are doing what performers at the highest level of any field have always done: seek any edge that they can find.
   When your body is your instrument, that means all that tinkering with whatever’s available to help with strength, conditioning, recovery from injury, etc. All of the sanctimony and outrage is as disingenuous as a president mentioning it in the State of the Union: the athletes have to pretend to go along with it because of the public relations pressures, but if they really were upset about it they wouldn’t have used them in the first place.
   And what of the integrity of the game, the records, our understanding of the relative positioning on the all-time hierarchy between one generation and another? As counterintuitive as it is to suggest it, the integrity of the game will be just fine. Over time, fans will simply learn to compensate in their minds for a 10- or 15-year periold that quite thoroughly distorted the record books. I suspect that for millions of fans already, the all-time home run champ is still the guy pictured atop this page, rather than the one with a half dozen more home runs. That’s unwieldy and awkward, but there it is.
   I know, I know, it’s a pain in the neck to figure out how to reconcile having the majority of the game’s top home run hitters come from that particular era, but I’m convinced that the game itself is so much bigger than the men who play it that we’ll figure out how to come to terms with the statistical aberrations.
    Now figuring out what to do with the Hall of Fame, that’s another matter. And for another day.

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8 thoughts on “Hard to maintain our level of steroids outrage …

  1. I see you are allowing comments again. I’m sure it won’t last long so I will be brief. I am so disapointed that you, at the minimum you condone the actions of coach’s corner, and at the worst, perhaps you profit from their absolute theivery.

    YOu should be ashemed of yourself!

  2. I find it so ironic (and self-serving) what you get outraged about and what you don’t. How come there is no outrage over Coach’s corner and how they hurt our hobby?

  3. Paul on said:

    Mike. I think it’s an outrage how T.S behaves when he confronts you. Just shows you how mature he is on how he handles things. He should be ashamed of himself. The guy likes having a job Mike. If Legendary or Huggins/Scott or Robert Edward had that King Kelly single signed ball, which could be the earliest known single signed ball (Kelly dated it 1890), don’t you think T.S would have written about it here?

  4. sports-rings.com on said:

    In fairness to T.S. I am not sure he wrote those comments, perhaps someone else did. All we really know is that:
    1) He removes my comments and other’s comments
    2) He continues to look the other way and allow Coach’s corner to ripp off consumers
    3) when he feels the wrath of other readers, he stops all others from leaving comments!
    4) if you don’t like this call the advertisers… let them know that CC hurts them too. How? money spent with CC is not spent with other advertisers. also people who have really bad experiences will leave the hobby.

    TS and SCD may not care but I do. I’m just getting started!

  5. Tom Tresh on said:

    Mr. O’Connell, thank you for opening up comments to your blog again. As much as some of us want to hear more roids, the majority of us don’t. We hear enough about it in our major newspapers and on our sports radio shows. But, Mr. O’Connell, as a editor of a hobby magazine, I would think you would be highly inquisitive about rare autographed baseballs like the one that just surfaced on the Coach’s Corner auction site. I am, of course, referring to that Mike King Kelly autographed baseball (Lot Number 2) that is up for auction right now. Or maybe the Ed Delahanty (Lot Number 882)cut autograph. Both are authenticated (cough, cough) by Chris Morales. Coach’s Corner claims the Mike King Kelly autographed baseball has a BV of $55,000. As of this writing it is up to a whopping $269.00. The Ed Delahanty cut autograph is up to $39.00. Are you serious about the fact that you have nothing to write about those two extraordinary finds? Thank you.

  6. Tom Tom on said:

    Who is the expert that knows which authenticator is good, which authenticator is suspect, etc.? Sure…everybody has an opinion. But what’s your proof? Do you have any?

  7. T.S. on said:

    I have decided to open up the comments again for now. Whomever is posting here under the name "oconnell" is NOT me and disregard his comments until I get around to deleting them. As for Mr."Tresh". I will not get involved in a debate on what auction houses consign or whether one authentication service is better than the other. Someone forwarded me a video you did with my name on it. I didn’t get to watch it, but would appreciate you keeping my name out of any future ones!! Thank you.

  8. sports-rings.com on said:

    TS – Why do you write about Bob Uecker but ignore important matters in our hobby? Some of the stories SCD did in the past was great stuff – Like the bogus Brett Farve jerseys. I am a subscriber because I want you (and will pay you) to be my eyes and ears and to educate and inform me. Stop wasting our time with Bob Uecker articles and please act like a responsible journalist. I am not asking you to debate which auction house is better but I am asking you to cover and write and be alarmed at the crap CC sells. Thank you for opening up your blogs to comments again!

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