My fave-o-rite sports station this morning got into an issue that was brought up around this time last year, leading to the Great Baseball Boycott of 2008: If you care about steroids in baseball, then do something about it!! Long-time readers will recall that the Great Baseball Boycott quickly turned into the Quickly Tossed Aside Baseball Boycott once the playoffs rolled around, so I wonder about my ability to sustain one through 2009. Nonetheless, here are the facts:
1. A-Rod, best player in baseball and jerk extraordinaire (I prefer to focus on the latter), took steroids during his tenure at the Rangers.
2. This revelation about A-Rod/A-Roid/A-Fraud has reignited the baseball steroid scandal, conveniently forgotten during the off-season.
3. Congress picks and chooses who it persecutes for steroids, and even though A-Rod has admitted to using "banned substances, " they're probably going to leave him alone.
4. Baseball takes out its ruler and slaps you on the knuckles for testing positive. (Only Chris will laugh at this, but ... "Tonight on 4: Freshly rapped knuckles! Look at those beauties! Sir gave me such a whacking, but I'm still going to smoke 'cause it's cool!")
If you care about steroids running rampant in baseball, don't you have to do something? Goodness knows that congress and Major League Baseball themselves aren't! Isn't it in order that one should stay away from games, not buy gear, and not watch it on TV? Is the resurrection of the Great Baseball Boycott in order?
Just one problem:
1. What difference did the Great Baseball Boycott of 2008 make? What difference would another one make?
Considering how we crapped out on GBB 2008, none whatsoever. And considering how packed full ball parks were, I'm sure the fact that I didn't watch the Saturday game on Fox made no difference at all. The only reason people didn't show up at Texas Rangers games last year was because they played so abysmally. This year, I have a hunch that the economic mess will have a greater impact on baseball than any boycott would.
The majority of folks either don't care or want it both ways. Concerning the former, I think there's an element of defeatism that says this is the way things are going, no attempts to stop it will be successful, and you might as well just enjoy it. I fall into the latter group: I want baseball to be clean, but I'm overwhelmed by just plain wanting baseball. There is, admittedly, an element of defeatism in my way of looking at things too--a guessing game wherein the participants give the player up to batt a good look and determine their doping status, "Roids or No?", is too fun for those of us with darker senses of humor to resist. One fan's ability to vote with their pocket books and change baseball seems too herculean a task.
I don't want baseball to be dirty. I want to do my itsy-bitsy part. I definitely want to pretend that anything I do makes a difference, and even if it doesn't then I'll still feel better. But I while my conscience might feel better, every other bit of me won't (especially my poor, broken heart) if I call for GBB 2009. Two reasons why:
1. Me need baseball.
Let me focus on the greatness of NESN: NESN (pronounced nessin) is the New England Sports Network, and frankly you haven't lived until you've heard the announcers get giggle fits while broadcasting a Red Sox game. And with a week in Maine with my parental units coming up this summer, the prospect of that week being NESN-free causes me profound distress. Especially if the Red Sox are playing badly--they're just more fun then.
This post has become massive. I'll talk a little bit more about it in a day or two.