Some tiny creature, mad with wrath,

Is coming nearer on the path.

--Edward Gorey

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S. Outlying Islands

Writer, lawyer, cyclist, rock climber, wanderer of dark residential streets, friend.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Your Tax Dollars at Work Again -- Compelled Steroid Testimony

ESPN reports that the House is prepared to subpoena those ballplayers past and present who declined the "invitation" to testify before that body:

Former Oakland Athletics sluggers Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire and Jason Giambi were among seven current and former baseball stars that a congressional committee plans to subpoena as soon as Wednesday to testify about steroids.

Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro and Frank Thomas also were asked last week to testify. Thus far, only Canseco and Thomas have said they were willing to appear.

"We hope subpoenas won't be necessary, but we are prepared to move forward with subpoenas [Wednesday] if we receive information that witnesses are not willing to appear voluntarily," David Marin, a spokesman for House Government Reform Committee chairman Rep. Tom Davis, said Tuesday.

Like, why even go through the motions of seeking voluntary testimony -- only Jose Canseco, who started this whole thing and has only sales of his tell-all to gain, and Frank Thomas, who's in the twilight of his career and is probably as clean as a whistle, volunteered to testify -- if you've got subpoenas in your back pocket? That's akin to saying, we were trying to avoid a PR disaster, but you leave us no choice . . .

You know what? It's fucking baseball!!!!! God Damn It!!!! Isn't there something better for our Congress to do? Aren't there about a thousand somethings better for our Congress to do?

Let's put this in perspective: the MLB union has done a phenomenal job of protecting players from scrutiny of their private lives, including substance abuse. No one can realistically dispute that plenty of players in the past 20 years have used cocaine, marijuana, ecstacy, and who knows what else. We're talking about child millionaires here, after all. How would you have behaved at 23 if you'd just received a $12M signing bonus? I mean, after you bought the modified H2. Like it or not, these drugs do not conceptually differ from steroids in the context of baseball. Why? Because steroids was not officially banned, so at worst it was just another substance that was illegal on the street -- like the more common recreational drugs.

Steroids is a performance enhancer, you say? What, and cocaine isn't?

There's a reasonable strict policy in place right now. How about baseball takes care of baseball, cops take care of illegal drug trafficking, and Congress takes care of the fiscal disaster its been rubber stamping into perpetuity for the past five years.

God this pisses me off. It's baseball. It's not like Congress convenes hearings over Olympic doping scandals. Or corporate welfare. Or insider trading. But baseball, now that's serious.


Blogger brian said...

Salon's King Kaufman (sorry, too lazy to find the link) has a nice column about this today.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

Nice column. But holy egregious error (can you find it?):

"I agree that no problem can be solved until we really know about it, and as long as punishment hangs over the heads of the principles, we'll only ever see the slivers of light that sneak between the cracks of denial."

If they can't even spell things right, what good is the MSM?

And anyway, he didn't use as many vulgarities as I did, which ipso facto makes his column inferior.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

I strongly agree. This is just the kind of inane waste of tax dollars that people should find appalling - but in our People Magazine age, for some reason, many people find it not just appropriate, but actually a good thing.

Though even if one does think it's appropriate - why is this being done through the Government Reform Committee?

9:18 AM  
Blogger Moon said...

Well, maybe its governmental reform because of the special antitrust exemption baseball enjoys, under the aegis of something like: the industry you protect from the law is thereafter subordinate to its government protectors. Or something.

Anyway, grandstanding. Kaufman puts it in its place. And I think it's more than a little suggestive that they didn't subpoena Bonds. I suspect Bonds would have been a cantankerous SOB and would have drawn more attention to the proceedings than they want.

9:32 AM  

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