If there is ever another occasion for Alex Rodriguez and Bud Selig to meet, someone with a sense of humor should commemorate it with a rendition of "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves," at least to offer appropriate accompaniment for the bloody hemorrhage of lies, strong-arming, fraudulence and grandstanding that have come to define the game's two greatest phonies.
Another week passes and still the prosecution of Rodriguez lingers, a pox on the house of the game, A-Rod too dumb to realize his appeal offers the perfect smokescreen for Selig's toothless drug policy. Keep fighting, Alex. Let Selig to flex his media-created muscles with all the big threats. For a guy who thinks he's the smartest in the room all the time, Alex, you're proving to be no intellectual powerhouse.
And shame on the media, too, for its culpability. Is there nobody else out there that has followed along with the New Times of Miami's reporting of the Biogenesis tale, including its original bombshell seven months ago? Selig's drug-testing operation, the one he wants you to believe has been tougher all along than Eliot Ness, is a joke.
As the New Times reported: "the Biogenesis records affirm that the war on doping has been as futile as the War on Drugs."
Selig's drug-testing operation, rhetorically useful and practically useless, has succeeded one way, as Time Magazine's Jack Dickey wrote in the Aug. 19 issue: "a big show, more for the benefit of finger-wagging sports pundits than fans."
That's a fact, Jack. Almost as telling as how Selig, despite his self-congratulatory stance on doping, always manages to sound like Renault, when he says he's shocked - shocked! - to find out gambling has been going on in Rick's Café!
Moreover, baseball's methods during its investigation of Biogenesis went beyond unethical, paying an informant and even offering to pay the legal bills of Anthony Bosch, the man who conceived of Biogenesis. More from Time: "Not only had a sports league offered up the Federal Government as its pawn, but it had done so to extract information from an alleged drug dealer about drug users."
And yet the singular focus is A-Rod the Lighting Rod, too haughty and too obtuse to see that because he doth protest too much, the other side of this story - baseball's guilt - isn't subjected to the same moral outrage.
Answer me this: Do the suspensions for the current cheaters honestly pass the straight face test? A million dollars is lunch money to these people. So they took their drugs, got their contracts and now sit out a few games. Doesn't that make the risk worth taking, if you are someone inclined to cheat?
Let's see: roll the dice against a drug-testing policy that has more holes than Augusta National, knowing the worst penalty is that you go two months without pay?
And let me just ask this to all the arbiters of ethics who are piling on the guilty parties: Are you absolutely sure you wouldn't do the same thing? No, really. This isn't about what you tell the guys around the water cooler. This is about you alone with your thoughts. Are you really sure?
I'd like to think I wouldn't cheat. But then, I've never been exposed to the allure of lavish lifestyles. So can I really, truly, tell you I wouldn't cheat? Sorry. I can't. Note to those of you who can: Go collect your Nobel Prize now.
I'm never going to feel sorry for Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, a disgrace to the most hallowed uniform of them all. It's just that many of the people condemning him just might be stone throwers after all. Read this paragraph from the New Times:
"Big Pharma has been reaping a bonanza off HGH as civilian sales have skyrocketed. Last year, U.S. sales of HGH topped $1.4 billion. The Associated Press reported that's more than drug companies made off penicillin or prescription allergy meds."
Know what that means? HGH is more prevalent than anyone really wants to admit.
Until the penalty for doping becomes a lifetime ban for the first offense, none of this changes. Could they get the Players' Association to agree to that? Of course not. Although I'd like to see a few of the big talkers out there killing the Biogenesis customers stand up to the union the same way.
Meantime, go read the New Times story from Jan. 31. And then tell me if this is strictly an A-Rod story.
This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro.