Monday, December 17, 2007

Turning the page on the Mitchell Report

Here's a column written by Norman Chad called "It's Time To Turn Page On Report" from Monday's Washington Post that really helps put the Mitchell Report into perspective.
"Its Time to Turn Page on Report"

What I like about this opinion piece is that it puts into perspective what the report actually means in the grand scheme of life.
At the end of the day, what does it matter if these guys did steroids?
Like most sportswriters, I'm often caught up in the purity of things, the honesty and virtue of what sports really teaches us about everyday life. It's why I love high school sports -- where those lessons are learned in every bounce-pass, strikeout and windsprint.

So what did this $20 million act of Congress teach me about every day life?
That baseball is no different than anything else.
This column helped me break out of my journalistic blinders and realize that baseball is just like everything else in life -- its vulnerable to cheating and lying and stealing.
Just like everything else.

Why has this steroid scandal swept us all up? Because it's a reminder that Roger, Barry and all these guys that we thought were better than us really aren't.
Sure they can swing a bat better, but are they better than us?
We were confused into thinking that just because Roger could hurl a 98-mile-per-hour uncle charley that he was actually a better guy than our drunken cleptomaniac uncle Charley.

We don't want these guys to be ordinary because it lowers the ceiling of what ordinary can accomplish.
Those who want to insert asterisks and clauses into the record books are purists that aren't willing to let these players be ordinary.
An asterisk is supposed to tell the difference between good and bad? Ordinary and extraordinary?

Sure, my anger and frustration also had me gunning for B*rry Bonds, but what this column made me realize is that there are a lot of meaningful things besides baseball to which we could apply an asterisk or an explanatory clause.

--B.J. Koubaroulis (bkoub@yahoo.com)

ALSO:
-- Tim Rutten of the LATimes: Baseball's Shame is Our Shame, Too
-- Tom Boswell of the WashPost: Baseball's Lie Comes Home to Roost

2 comments:

Tony said...

Not only is baseball no different from everyday life, its also no different than any other sport, as Jason Stark reminds us.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3157202

I have to say, the Rodney Harrison situation and the Shawne Merriman positive steroid test, which he didn't mention here, shed light on the fact that people view baseball differently than other sports when in reality it isn't different at all.

Many times, however, it is the sports writers themselves that put baseball in such an unfair position, as B.J. mentions. Often, sports becomes about perception rather than reality and these athletes are put up on a podium by constant 24/7 sports journalism.

Tour of '03 (Steve Klein) said...

Every record is judged by its era. Mark McGwire, B*arry Bonds (I like BJ's spelling!), Sammy So-so all will be known by their era. In fact, they will define that era. The asterik is mandatory, but by definition. No need to include it. It's already there.
BJ's post, however, suggests this question: What do y'all think of Norman Chad.
And this question: Guess what Dave Kindred's next book is on.