It’s my turn to look at the two clouds hanging over the baseball season, steroids and the possibility of a strike. First off, let’s get to the point on the steroid issue.
In a season mired with controversy and questions, Rick Reilly made it clear. He stated the obvious, and it was so sweet.
It was a simple, straightforward question for Chicago Cubs bomber Sammy Sosa.
“You’ve said if baseball tests for steroids, you want to be first in line, right?” he asked him at his Wrigley Field locker.
“Yes,” Sosa replied.
“Well, why wait?” he said.
He posed the question that we had all been thinking since former Houston Astro Ken Caminiti admitted to using steroids a few months ago. Reilly stood in front of the six foot, 220 pound behemoth and simply asked Sosa to get tested. He gave Sosa the chance to clear the air and remove any doubt of wrongdoing.
Sosa had the chance, and he blew it.
When baseball’s biggest star was needed the most, he dropped the ball. Baseball needed Sosa to step up to the plate and lead the players association into the laboratory for testing.
Sosa had the opportunity to wipe away the asterisks that are lurking on the horizon, but he couldn’t come through. Sosa did what every other athlete has done recently and hid behind the players association.
That and he dropped the F-bomb about twenty times. And just for clarification, Sammy, we know that Rick isn’t your f-ing father.
Is it really that difficult? If you aren’t on steroids just go take the test and it will all stop. There won’t be any more groans from the crowd when you hit a home run or snap the bat over your knee.
Sammy had the opportunity to keep his smiley golden boy image, but now it’s gone. And I have news for you Sammy; you aren’t going to get it back.
On to the second issue at hand, the strike.
I can’t believe that baseball is actually having this conversation again. Are the players and owners really this stupid?
It took a McGwire miracle after the 1994 strike to get the fans back. But if they strike again, it might take the Angels signing Jesus to pitch to get the fans back.
I have to say that I really do believe that both the players and the owners want to continue playing. I believe that both sides understand that baseball is at a point where changes need to be made to make the leagues competitive again.
What baseball doesn’t understand is that Commissioner Bug Selig and Players Union Chair Donald Fehr aren’t going to get a deal done. Unfortunately the two men have spent so much time building up a hatred for one another that it is going to be next to impossible to break down the wall of machismo.
Baseball has two options: one, get rid of Fehr and Selig and simply let the players and owners talk it out in a room; or two, drop Fehr and Selig in the Roman Coliseum and see who walks out . and the tigers from Gladiator are optional, but I’d prefer to see them there.
In all honesty, I don’t care who wins the labor dispute, but it must be resolved.
Somehow, someway the players and owners must get the job done. And if Bud Selig and Donald Fehr just want to flex their negotiating muscles, please borrow some of Sammy’s magic juice because the last thing we need is Bud or Don to break a hip during negotiations.