As I said in the last post, I certainly do NOT expect professional athletes to be sin-free little choir boys/mama’s pweshuus boys. Not by a long LONG shot. I think that the Lance Berkmans and Morgan Ensbergs are the rare exceptions to the rule of the behaviour of wealthy professional athletes (and if I were to discover that they are/were serial adulterers, card cheats, liars, thieves, alcoholics or even steroid users, unfortunately, I wouldn’t be shocked at all, very VERY sad to say. Disappointed, sure, but hardly shocked.) But there are SOME things (ahem) which are acts which I can’t and won’t agree to overlook as long as the player does well for my team. Those acts include rape, murder, arson and beating/killing smaller, helpless creatures such as children, women, dogs (and no, I am not talking about hunting and shooting animals for food.) I don’t care a bit about using any chemical whatsoever, legal or illegal, before it was banned by MLB – more on that later…
Some of yall have emailed and commented that I can’t KNOW what happened that night in Boston when Myers was arrested for beating his wife.
Correctamundo. I wasn’t there at the time, didn’t witness the action, have not had contact with anyone who did and am unable to locate video evidence or the police report in its entirety which was filed on the matter.
And there is one OTHER, even more important thing I can’t locate. Let me elaborate…
Baseball players are a very tight knit bunch. These men live and work together, fly together, eat together, train together for 7 months a year. If they come up through the minors together, they live together, eat together, take long bus rides together, and men most certainly DO talk to other men. They talk about their hopes, dreams, fears, conquests, feats, families, religion, beliefs, loves, hates. In short, they are in many ways like army guys in a platoon. Sometimes, the other guys know each other better than their wives, parents, non-baseball friends.
Everyone remember a few years back when Shawn Chacon, uh, expressed his displeasure to Ed Wade at being lied to and disrespected by Cecil Cooper, then into only his 3rd month of managing? Anyone remember what Chacon’s TEAMMATES said? I sure nuff do. Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman and Mark Loretta ALL said, and ON THE RECORD, to the media, fit for printing, broadcasting, that although it wasn’t OK to hit your GM, that Chacon was a good person and a good teammate. Not one player defended Cooper, whose, um, ahem, actions, started the whole thing. Not one player even mentioned Cooper ON THE RECORD.
That told me PLENTY. And what it told me was that the other guys on the team had Chacon’s back. (Chacon was a guy who had just joined the team, a guy that none of the other Astros had played with before, too.) And that his actions were, um, understandable and reasonable, even if not justified. And that Cooper was not respected by THEM, either. What ballplayers DON’T say is just as important as what they DO say.
And what does this have to do with Brett Myers?
I spent most of yesterday and the day before googling for quotes from other Phillies players at the time Myers was arrested for beating his wife. I had heard from some people who know the Phils players and Phillies team (sorry, anonymous sources) that Myers was not liked real too much by his other teammates. But, that is so much talk, seeing as how they want to remain anonymous, so I thought it would be best to see what the people who know Myers best, namely HIS OWN TEAMMATES, said on the record to the media.
You know what? I can not find ANY quotes from ANY Philies player saying something like – there is NO FREAKING WAY that Brett would have ever hit a woman. Or – there must be some kind of mistake because Brett is a great guy. If your teammates aren’t defending you to the media, there is a reason. They sure as heck could have written to one of the Phillies bloggers, if they HAD said that sort of thing to the media and they wouldn’t write/broadcast positive comments. SOMEONE would have agreed to broadcast/print it, just to get the pub.
If, by the way, anyone reading this can find SOME quote from one of Myers’ teammates saying that he is a great guy who would NEVER hit a woman, please send me the link, I will post it and say up front that I was wrong.
But to me, the silence of Myers’ teammates is even more damning evidence than the multiple eyewitnesses or even the police report, which mentioned Mrs. Myers’ swollen face. They know all right. Oh yeah. They know.
So, until this disgusting piece of inhumanity is off my team, I will not mention either his name or exploits. When I discuss any game he pitches, I will not talk about him, but will discuss the performance of everyone else. As far as I am concerned, Myers does not exist. I mean this. And I mean it even if he pitches a perfect game or hits 4 home runs off any give ace in a game.
Some people have commented/emailed me to say – perhaps Myers is a changed man. Perhaps. But then again, there are two kinds of changed: the first is that he is the same person he always has been, but because of fear of police/being thrown out of baseball, he has managed to control himself enough to not hit his wife. The other change is a change of HEART – sincere repenting the evil of his ways.
Unfortunately, the first is far more common than the second, which I think really only happens with either some sort of severe life-changing event or one’s own impending death. People DO repent, it really DOES happen, and it is accompained by real grief because they have finally managed to see something from the perspective of someone else – they have inwardly walked that mile in the shoes of another and seen from within. And that seeing has allowed them to understand what their own actions have done to others and how it has harmed their own souls.
If Myers has not hit his wife since the Boston incident out of fear of repercussions, well, it is good that he has managed to control himself, but he has not CHANGED. He’s like the alcoholic who is a binge drinker and goes on the wagon. But that person is STILL an alcoholic and inside, really means to drink again, and won’t admit it to him/herself or others.
And speaking of repentance, I suppose I have to talk about Mark McGwire and steroids and all the staged teary eyed stuff.
I absolutely HATE steroids. Not because I see them as far more evil than beating your wife, but because too many self-righteous reporters really REALLY believe that steroids turn Alex Sanchez into Mark McGwire.
What? Oh – Alex only hit 2 home runs in the 2 years he took steroids (and was caught)? Bad example…
Where was I? Oh yeah. Mark McGwire would not have hit home runs if he had not taken steroids. And if he EVER admitted he used, it means he used them from the time he was a child, seeeing as how he had acne even back in high school and college and any man who has acne can ONLY get them from shooting steroids (don’t ask me how women get acne because it destroys the myth.)
Look – it is like this – steroids are ONLY about home runs. Who are the reporters who are furious and indignant and calling for heads being lopped off any baseball player with a positive test who did NOT hit home runs? Are there any? Where are the reporters who want Wally Joyner’s statistics erased from the records? Where are the reporters who are demanding that Paxton Crawford’s statistics be expunged from minor league records? Actually, the reporters don’t WANT to talk about Paxton Crawford, who has stated that he used steroids and that he believes that they DESTROYED his career.
None of the media are demanding that the statistics of every single ballplayer with a positive steroid test, who admitted use, even ONCE, who was named in the Mitchell report, or even Jason Grimsley, be completely expunged from the record books and everyone else’s stats be adjusted accordingly (don’t ask me how they could determine if actual GAMES were won or lost.)
Because they don’t actually give one single solitary damn about anything but The Sacred Home Run Record. And neither do the fans, for that matter. And I have absolutely ZERO respect for that attitude. No, less than zero.
Let me tell you what this is REALLY about. Revenge. Yes, revenge. The media wants a lot more than a simple pound of flesh from two men – Sammy Sosa (who has not ever been connected in any way with steroid use, except to hit lots of home runs, bring an interpreter to Congress with him and to peak at the unheard of age of 27) and Mark McGwire. Why?
See, I remember all the fawning, moaning drool they belched out all OVAH the airwaves and papers about McGwire The Magnificent Man and Sammy Sosa The Lively Latin who were Saving Baseball. They were worse than the worst groupies I have ever seen. And trust me, I have seen a few (check out the looks on the faces of the girls videoed in some of those old rock videos. They look like they just have seen God in Heaven and they gonna be seated at His right hand. Uck.) That was bout every media guy there was. They couldn’t for ONE second let it enter their fairytale addled heads that perhaps the rumors about ballplayers (especially Canseco and McGwire) were true – maybe they WERE doing drugs. NOOOOOOOO, the He Roes were Pure and True.
Tell you something – they are all like CHICKS, yes CHICKS who won’t nevah SHUT UP for even one second about how wonderful/fantastic/incredible their perfectly perfect in every way man is. Until, that is, they find out that he is screwing their sister, mother and best friend. And he is leaving them for an 18 year old perfect blond with genuine huge boobs and he’s telling everyone that he never knew how wonderful a REAL woman was, being stuck with the cow he stuck with all that time.
– And honey, do they EVAH want massive, serious REVENGE. Absolutely not ONE thing would do except McGwire, Sosa (and probably Clemens and Bonds, on general principles of they hate them too) to commit suicide over their massive perfidy, leaving a suicide note admitting that they wouldn’t have even been able to so much as swing a bat if not for steroids, that they only used them for the SOLE purpose of cheating The Sainted Babe, I mean that whatshisname asterisk 61 guy, out of The Most Sacred Record Of History. Oh yeah, and asking to have their dead heads put up on a pole to warn The Children of what happens to home run hitters who fool the gullible media.
How many have said that OK, well McGwire confessed, but he didn’t really mean it. Or that he needs to give dates and exact substances. Or that he has got to rat out his teammates and friends.
Good grief. If the media knows that teammates and friends were doing steroids too, why all the screeching at McGwire, saying he shouldn’t even be allowed to be a hitting coach? His crime was buying illegal drugs for personal use. Yes, a felony. But no one is complaining about his being a felon, they are complaining that he “cheated.”
There was NO rule against ML players using steroids (the memo applied ONLY to MLB employees, which ML players are NOT.) It was therefore NOT cheating as it was not against the rules before 2004. The word “cheating” actually refers to cheating The Sainted Babe out of His record, as well as cheating on the media. Sort of like Tiger Woods cheating on his wife with an endless string of sluts and prostitutes. And just like a cheated on wife of a rich man wants her revenge in the form of lots of cash and denying the man any access to his own children, the media wants to do whatever it possibly can to destroy McGwire, the man who hit too many home runs.
What really grinds my ass is that not only does McGwire get the entire wrath of the supposed steroid haters, but the media don’t have the guts to go after both Selig and the owners, who were obviously complicit in the entire affair. There were NO problems with Sammy and Mac drawing enormous crowds and endless attention to baseball after the owners had Selig cancel the 94 baseball postseason in an effort to elicit public sympathy for cheating the players out of money that rightfully belonged to the owners.
And in fact, in spite of all the whispers, in spite of all the talk, in spite of the Andro scandal, NOBODY gave a hoot about steroids until Barry Lamar Bonds, The Villain, got into the act in 01. If you say I’m wrong, please provide links to investigative reports published by the media regarding steroid use of baseball players back in 98. I can sure nuff provide links to Tom Verducci (among others) gushing about how WONderful it is that ballplayers now lift weights and to tons of mainstream media columnists screaming at the reporter who asked McGwire about the bottle of andro sitting in plain sight on his shelf, refusing to even consider the possibility of additional usage of illegal substances in Our HEro.
Please don’t tell me that The Public cares about roids. When players who tested positive (not just suspected/accused) came back from their 50 game suspension, they were cheered as if they had just saved 50 babies from a burning building (see Guillermo Mota, Manny Ramirez and J.C Romero.) The Public more than obviously couldn’t care less that college and pro football players are roided to their eyeballs. They care about The Sacred Home Run Record.
It is time to leave Mac alone and let him be a hitting coach.
Either that or treat every single player WITHOUT EXCEPTION who used steroids the exact same way Mac has been treated. But it won’t happen for the simple reason that they didn’t hit enough home runs to bother with.
And before you ask me if I will feel differently about steroids if I find out that Kevin Bass or Terry Puhl or Nolan Ryan or Mike Scott or Jimmy Wynn or Jeff Bagwell or Craig Biggio or Brad Ausmus or even Wandy used them, I will say, not as long as they didn’t use after they were banned by MLB.
Actually, I wouldn’t be real too surprised if it came out that Hidalgo used – it got him 32 million but ruined his career. And I wouldn’t be real too surprised if it came out that Bagwell used – and it ruined his shoulder. Heck, there is absolutely NOBODY who could be revealed as having used steroids (before 2004) who would surprise me. I would bet that roid usage was as ubiquitous as greenies.
And I still don’t care.
But back to repentance – the all important question – Has McGwire TRULY repented?
I doubt it. And I don’t blame him a bit. He wanted to be a ballplayer, he took what he thought would prolong his career, would make him as good as he could be. I’m positive he is NOW sorry he even ever heard of the stuff, now that attitides have changed and spiteful writers don’t even think he should be allowed near a baseball field.
But the man done the crime, he done the time (been gone from baseball for almost 10 years) he gone on TV and humiliated himself only to the point of not admitting that he had no baseball talent whatsoever and anything he accomplished was only the work of drugs.
At least he didn’t beat his wife…