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Friday, June 09, 2006

Paranoid Delusions

With the recent Jason Grimsley leaked affadavit that names names (some of which are speculated on here) all kinds of people will be saying ridiculous things. One of those is Jason Whitlock, who is a columnist for the KC Star and also writes for ESPN. When I lived in KC he was also on the radio occasionally. Terrible radio personality by I digress...

Anyway, Whitlock wrote a piece for ESPN the other day where he said this:

"Well, I'm not sure I'm ready to blast these guys now for using their wealth to try to ease the pain and maximize their earning power. If a doctor or trainer told you he had a 'steroid' that could help you now and maybe prevent some additional pain later in life, would you take the drug? Would you worry about being vilified by the American media? Or worry about playing with your child in your 40s and 50s?"

Unfortunately Whitlock misses (or actually dismisses) the point that steroid use in sports is banned because it is both dangerous (anabolic steroids are a controlled substance and are illegal without a prescription) and creates an uneven playing field which damages the credibility of the entire enterprise. Now, if we want to have a debate in this country about what substances should and shouldn't be banned and how those substances can be prescribed when dealing with injuries, then I'm all for it. But this idea that professional athletes can somehow be excused when the rules were clear is absurd. And don't think that the MLB's lack of a policy or testing (for example regarding human growth hormone) provides justification either. MLB has no policy against most illegal activity but that doesn't mean it's ok.

And don't get me started on Whitlock's race related paranoia. Apparently, the feds asking Grimsley to wear a wire is proof that much of this is yet another racist ploy:

"Come on, even Bonds' critics must admit this witch hunt has nothing to do with cleaning up baseball. It's about creating headlines, securing promotions and advancing political careers one Willie Horton at a time."
Truly mind boggling.

About the only relevant point Whitlock makes is that the Grimsley affadavit helps bring to the forefront the reality that pitchers were/are using illegal substances probably as much as hitters. But that point is not nearly enough to salvage this piece.

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