Parts of a transcript of “leaked” supposed to be secret grand jury testimony was published a few days ago, as yall know. In the published parts, Jason Giambi actually admits to using steroids and Barry Bonds says he was given some substances by Greg Anderson which might could resemble steroid-like substances, but stated that he didn’t use anything he KNEW were steroids.
Three points here that need to be discussed:
1) First, the minor point – Giambi (and possibly Bonds) used steroids BEFORE, or was it after they were banned by MLB.
If the use was BEFORE it was banned, then it is NOT against the rules and was NOT cheating. If the use was AFTER the ban, then it most certainly was. But comparing users of illegal drugs to Pete Rose, who bet on baseball when he was a major league manager?!
2) Second – a LOT of people are demanding that MLB, although there are written rules in the CBA for dealing with those players who test positive, make public the names of those players who tested positive for steroids and banish them from baseball or actually remove every stat they have from the ML record and even refund all monies paid to them from a MLB team. And ban them from the Hall of Fame. (So far, they haven’t demanded horsewhipping or tar and feathers, but I’d bet that’s coming…) Funny I’m not hearing this about Gaylord Perry, an ADMITTED cheater, or Paul Molitor, who ADMITTED to using cocaine, an illegal and performance enhancing drug. Could it be because Perry doesn’t hold any of the all time pitching records and Molitor didn’t hit many home runs? Nahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
But none of these things is particularly important to me. What IS, and what is being overlooked by almost everybody, is that SECRET GRAND JURY TESTIMONY WAS GIVEN TO THE NEWSPAPERS BY A LAWYER, MOST LIKELY A PROSECUTOR!!! This is THE major point!!!
To say this is really bad is the understatement of the year. It seems obvious to me that a prosecuting attorney must have committed this serious felony (which, by the way, is also an offense that would result in disbarrment) because he/she realized that the long witchhunt against Barry Bonds would never result in any criminal conviction. So this person decided that outing steroid users was FAR more important than upholding the law. And remember that lawyers are considered officers of the court and SUPPOSED to uphold the law, just as cops and judges are. What this lawyer did was as serious a crime as doctor deliberately giving the wrong medicine to a patient for his/her own private reasons. For some reason, no one seems to care. I don’t see any vigorous effort to hunt this felon and punish him/her. How can any witness in any high profile case give testimony that he/she cannot be sure will be kept secret?
And why is the newspaper not being prosecuted for receiving stolen goods (or whatever this is called legally?) It is NOT legal for a paper to print whatever it wishes. But no one takes this seriously. What do you think would happen if a newspaper published, say, supposed to be secret lab data from the patent files for everyone to see? Well, you might say that it is different, and I’ll agree – it isn’t as serious. But that newspaper would be in serious trouble. So where are the federal attorneys? Not gonna see them – it’s more important to out steroid users, isn’t it?
Now I know that some of you are thinking, so what if the prosecuting attorney committed a felony and should be disbarred and sent to jail. What he/she did is good because outing steroid users is MUCH more important that upholding the law. Do you REALLY want lawyers or cops to be above the law? Just in THIS case. Yeah, that’s good.
AND, do you think for one minute that the players’ union is going to agree to any sort of testing when it has been made MORE than clear that the results will not be confidential? (Remembering the government seizing the MLB urine drug records of the lab testing company, supposedly to help presecute BALCO? Yeah, surrrrrrrrrrrrrrre…..)
And do you think THAT’S OK because after all, outing steroid (note I said steroid, because no one seems to care about any other sort of illegal drug) is more important that anything else, like the right to privacy? Well, let me ask you this – do YOU want your medical records to be made public? Do YOU want the results of YOUR drug tests to be published in the paper and ALSO if you have a positive result, to be banned from your job for the rest of your life and to also have to repay ALL the money your company has ever paid you? Oh, you’re think you’re different because they’re rich and privileged and you’re not? You start saying that one group of people should be denied basic rights and all that will do is give groups with power to remove YOUR rights.
So if you REALLY wanna remove steroids from baseball, this doublecross was just about the stupidest thing possible to do….
But if your REAL secret agenda was to give the finger to the law and courts and sockitto Barry in the court of public opinion, way to go…
You’ve noticed, of course, how upset I seem that ballplayers are using roids. Yeah. I will get upset the exact same day that I see the same amount of upset about ALL illegal chemicals used by ballplayers, as well as alcohol and, especially, spit tobacco. The ONLY reason I care about ballplayers using roids is that it may be physically harmful to them.
You’ve noticed, of course, how upset I seem about the “sanctity of records.” Look people – ballplayers are different than they were 100 years ago. They are larger (all Americans are larger) and have expert training and nutrition. They are rich and don’t have to work selling shoes in the offseason, but they train year round. If you want to look at absolute numbers, instead of comparing players from different eras, you will have to put those little * by the numbers of any pitcher who had ligament transplant surgery and prolonged his career, added to his win total and so passed by some old timer who retired because of injury. You will hafta put that little * by the name of any batter who had lasix surgery, recovered his fading eyesight and therefore passed the batting stats of some old timer who couldn’t see. And so on.
And just as I look at the careers of the dead ball pitchers differently from the careers of modern pitchers in the homer happy era, we should look at the steroid -era pitchers and hitters differently from the other eras. But too many people only care about the totals. I don’t and I won’t.
But I do care about the serious violation of the law by an officer of the court. And I care that almost no one cares about that.