Bud Selig has balls the size of Texas…

Selig comes out today and says that A-Rod “shamed the game” by using
performance enhancing drugs.

You have got to be kidding me. So, one player, albeit a very high
profile player, brought shame to the game through PED use, but Selig,
all 30 MLB team owners and the half-wits who run the Players’
Association who conspired to keep a lid on PED use for 20 years
because more home runs meant more money for MLB are blameless?

Give me a friggin’ break.

And don’t even get me started on what’s happening to Miguel Tejada,
who is looking at the very real possibility of spending time in
Federal Prison because he used PED’s and lied about it (along with
Selig, Donald Fehr and a host of other jackasses) to Congress.

I have said it before and I will say it again – so what? Professional
sports are entertainment, pure and simple. They are not
“institutions” nor do any other overblown, hyperbolic
characterizations of pro sports deserve anything but a sneer and
derision by anyone with half a functioning brain. We do not threaten
movie & TV actresses with jail time for wearing inflato-bossoms or
claim that Bruce Willis or any other follicularly-challenged actor is
setting a bad example for our youth when they sport a rug in order to
appear more attractive or youthful. No one is horrified that the
crowd scenes in recent epic films like Gladiator are digitally
enhanced rather than populated by real live extras, the way they did
it in the olden days.

This obsession with purity in sports has got to stop. It has to stop
if only because it cannot be reconciled with our cultural preference
for everything else around us being completely fake and
technologically enhanced. We love fake stuff in the country and we
love technology. Heck, we even love technology when it’s applied to
sports. Do you see anyone moaning about the mechanically wound
baseballs that are precisely manufactured to ridiculous industrial
tolerances in automated factories and how that’s detracting from the
game because we don’t use hand-wound baseballs anymore? How about
bats – ever hear anyone complain about the finely machine crafted bats
(other than about the handles breaking too often these days) that
allow a player to whip the bat around with considerably more speed
than Babe Ruth ever had at his disposal? And every year you hear a
new chorus of malcontents who want to replace the live umpires behind
the plate with sophisticated cameras that can precisely call balls and
strikes with no risk of error. We love that shit.

We also love things that are bigger than big and grander than grand.
Stadia full of tens of thousands of people do not pay outrageous
prices to watching low scoring pitchers’ duels (much as I wish they
would, but that’s more about the general stupidity of the modern
baseball fan and is fodder for another post some other time). People
come out to pay piles of money ($20 for ticket + $20 for parking + $8
for a beer + $7 for a hot dog = $55 – and that’s not counting
transportation to and from the game) to watch a ballgame because they
want to see dingers, and if they pay any attention to the pitching at
all they want to see 100 mph fastballs. We are not a nation of people
who appreciate nuance and subtlety.

The shame here is that the old white men in suits are wagging their
accusing fingers at players for doing precisely what the league
bosses, union heads and team owners wanted them to do – hit the ball
farther, throw it harder and break some records.

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