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Rhinocrisy

11 March, 2006

My first baseball post

A San Francisco sports columnist writes:
Before we paint [steroid-popping home run whacker Barry] Bonds as a crack-dealing serial killer, remember that he did nothing more than gaze at a big, beautiful ship cruising by him. Aboard were countless athletes juicing up on steroids, racking up astounding statistics, showing off their biceps and knowing they wouldn't be penalized. Bonds wanted to be on that ship. He joined a cast of thousands. If we're looking for the real criminals of this world, let's go check the streets.
Let's see what we can do with this:
Before we paint former Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling as a crack-dealing serial killer, remember that he did nothing more than gaze at a big, beautiful ship cruising by him. Aboard were countless executives juicing up on options, racking up astounding statistics, showing off their portfolios and knowing they wouldn't be penalized. Skilling wanted to be on that ship. He joined a cast of thousands. If we're looking for the real criminals of this world, let's go check the streets.
Or how about:
Before we paint heroin-dealing serial killer Charles Manson as a crack-dealing serial killer, remember that he did nothing more than gaze at a big, beautiful ship cruising by him. Aboard were countless psychopaths juicing up on crank, racking up astounding body counts, showing off their pimped rides and hoping they wouldn't be penalized. Manson wanted to be on that ship. He joined a cast of thousands. If we're looking for the real criminals of this world, let's go check the streets.

Comments

Major League baseball is a sham, but that sham really doesn't hurt anyone, except for perhaps high school and college athletes who think that juicing up is alright because their role models are taking steroids. Bonds, McGuire, et al, were using steriods as an arms race, essentially guaranteeing a litle asterisk for steroid use next to their records. Thus, they mainly hurt themselves.

Skilling, on the other hand, robbed other people of their retirements when he promoted Enron's culture of corruption.

As for Manson, he created his following, his merry band of psychopaths. Outside of them, and other psychopathic pairs, I don't think that there is an institutionalized culture of the psychopaths in the states, so I don' think the application works. But you could easily substitute Goebbels in for Manson, and it would work with your intended effect. 

Posted by echan


I think your logic is pretty impeccable, echan, but as a baseball fan, it annoys the hell out of me that some punk who's always been an obnoxious f#@k would break all these records (including his godfather's), deny it all, express no contrition, and generally never, ever take any accountability.

Again, only because I'm a baseball fan.

Also, while I think Bonds's problems with the media seem to have had more to do with personality than his race (if one is to separate the two), I wouldn't overlook the fact that many Black people that achieve high levels of success in the U.S. seem to face pressures that are unimaginable to the rest of us, and that probably applies to Bonds as well. 

Posted by someone else


I don't think that there is an institutionalized culture of the psychopaths in the states 

Uh. . . .were you meaning to imply that there IS an institutionalized culture of psychopathy in some other set of territories?

I think if some random journalist had written that, one who doesn't write a lot about sports, then I'd feel they had a point, for the reasons Echan outlines. But for a sports columnist to write that is really bizarre. All year long they go, "Hey all this totally manufactured minutiae that I spend hours reporting and kill trees to present is incredibly important and profound and serious, read it! Read it now!" Then something remotely serious comes up. "Wait, Don't look at us! This entire industry isn't important at all! It's just a sham! Remember?"

The only part of the sports page I look at are the high school notices, and I hate the way it's organized around statistics. As far as I'm concerned professional sports has come to poison athletics for children and adults in multiple ways. I was starting to lean towards it (as someone else might remember) just b/c it's intellectually interesting to think about statistics, but geez, there are so many other things involving statistics one can fixate on. Pro baseball doesn't even have the dionysiac drama of soccer or basketball. Its main saving grace is that it's such a damn cheap and lazy way to get in some sunshine.  

Posted by Saheli


I don't care all that much about steroids. And to be fair, the writer of that apologia previously spent many paragraphs saying that Bonds messed up and the Giants needed to find a way to deal with the mess. He then presented this paragraph of "on the other hand." If this is the best he could come up with, I think he shouldn't bother. The argument that "everyone is doing it" didn't work in high school and shouldn't work in Major League Business -- I mean Baseball. 

Posted by hedgencrisy


barry will always be to me the highly overcompensated person who can hit a solid object travelling 100mph with a stick travelling 85 mph, forcing the solid object to fly roughly the distance of a full city block. the drugs don't ruin the romance of that. 

Posted by david


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