Hypocrites and Fools
So...Mark McGwire has now been convicted of using steroids in the court of public opinion, because he exercised his fundamental legal right not to incriminate himself. The right not to incriminate onself is a enjoyed by every American, by the way, but it certainly is interesting to see a nice white guy being held to the same ridiculous "guilty until proven innocent" standards usually applied to blacks and Latinos. Even sports-talk radio hosts might want to invoke that right some day.
Not that the more childish of the sports-talk radio community understand the subtle distinctions between the presumption of innocence and the assumption of guilt, of course. It is fascinating to see all these supposedly hard-boiled radio, TV, and press members treating McGwire's steroid use as if it were proof that the Easter Bunny didn't exist, as if their very worlds would crumble if they saw Daddy laying out the chocolate eggs on Easter Sunday.
Gary Thorne covered himself in fertilizer just the other day in the middle of an otherwise sleep-inducing Braves/Mets ESPN spring training telecast, advising McGwire (yes, advising him, as if he needed more crappy legal advice) that he could fix all his problems by simply telling the world, "I did not use steroids."
I'm sure that McGwire was grateful for the free advice, but does that mean that Thorne wants McGwire to lie if he indeed did use steroids? Or does he just want more than anything for the Great White Hope to be purer than Ivory Snow when he might not be? (By the way, Thorne is a lawyer, and we know he'd never advise anyone to lie.)
It's bad enough, of course, for all of these sportswriter/broadcaster types to be waving their disappointed fingers at Big Mac, but now we have at least one old ballplayer weighing in with his utterly ridiculous and ill-informed opinions of how baseball records should be kept.
Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY), formerly a 224-game winner in the majors and currently a half-crazed, sclerotic, race-baiting loony, was quoted in an irresponsible George Vecsey New York Times story this week that all current home run records should be "wiped out" because some hitters might have been using steroids.
Now Bunning, as an old fart ballplayer, shouldn't necessarily be expected to know the facts of record-keeping, or to understand history. But Vecsey, writing in the most influential newspaper in the country, took a remarkably charitable viewpoint towards the old fool, and invoked the old anger card--you know, the one that says we all have a right to be angry at baseball players who don't act the way we want them to. It's one of the most ridiculous baseball stories I've read in years, and Vecsey should know better.
But back to Bunning, and his crusade to save the record books from cheaters...Hey, I'm all for that, Senator. Let's expunge the records of all players who cheated. Just to be on the safe side, let's start with pitchers who threw spitballs, like those great Hall of Famers Whitey Ford, Don Drysdale, Bob Gibson, Don Sutton, and of course Gaylord Perry, who treated the rules as if they were a joke, fashioning a career around not only throwing the spitball but also delighting in making fools of umpires who tried to enforce the rules.
And, by the way, Senator, you've often been accused of throwing scuffed and wet balls yourself. Would you like to comment on that?
Didn't think so.