This is my response to an article written by Mike Straka of Fox News, for his daily Grrr! Column. He commented about the current situation in Major League Baseball and steroid usage. Usually I pretty much believe he is spot on with alot of his Grrrs but this time I wasn't to keen on some of what he had to say so I decided to respond with a very long-winded Grrr response email which he probably won't even read, which is fine, I am sure he is a busy guy. I am also sure that he considers long emails a major Grrr for him as well. But, I just can't let things like this go un-addressed and I had a lot to say, thats just the way I am I guess, not a very pithy guy I suppose.
While your commentary on steroid use in baseball was quite passionate, it was also very misguided. It is definately wrong and unfair for these guys to be using a known illegal and dangerous substance and they should definately receive the blame for it. They should be held fully accountable for their own actions and choices as should anyone who supplied them with the drugs, as well as anyone in a position to do something about it who may have turned a blind eye to the whole thing. You asked us if we would still want to watch athletes who look like us, my answer is yes, I would. I would love to see a guy like me, not in just physicalities, but in character as well, playing professional baseball, football or basketball. That is what the lure is for anyone who does follow sports, movies, and video games. We project our own personal sensibilities onto those people because we see a little bit of our own selves, our desires and aspirations, in them.So, while it was nice to point out the shallowness of our society on a whole, that is no excuse to allow these men and women to get away with their poor choices. The comparisons you made between steroids giving an edge and filtering technology in music, or plastic surgery are disingenuous, neither of these things are illegal or immoral, nor are they used in a way that cheats someone else of victory. Steroids are both illegal and immoral, and they do cheat, not only the competitors in these sports, but the abusers themselves of their own good health and the pride of winning based on their own good efforts and merits. Ultimately they cheat the fans of seeing the true potential of human efforts.We should not continue to perpetuate this behavior by offering excuses instead of solutions, giving leeway instead of rebuke, pandering rather than helping. The users and abusers should be openly and honestly rebuked and disciplined.You said " Isn't that what America is all about — having an edge? " My answer to that is hell no!, that is not what America is all about, if it is then God help us! If you look at our history in this country, it has never been about having an edge, it has been about opportunity, freedom, justice, and the persuit of happiness. That is what America is about. While I would agree that the very structure of our free market society encourages one to seek out an edge in order to succeed or attain certain goals, it is not about having an "edge". In other words, happiness CAN be, and has been obtained without having that so called "edge". Plastic surgery wasn't always the norm in Hollywood, nor was music sampling and filtering for the music industry. There was a time when such successes were accomplished through old fashioned hard work and determination, with a little pazazz thrown in.In so far as the government getting involved, they are overstepping their bounderies, let MLB figure out what to do about it on their own. The market will dictate how they respond, when ticket sales decline, special family oriented groups begin to protest and encourage boycotts, when advertisers begin to distance themselves from the organizations, or God forbid, when more of these same athletes fall over dead and there families sue the pants off of the sports franchise, that will cause them to do the right thing. It can happen if the people make it happen, if government intervenes it will just get a lot worse. The drug problem in the rest of the country ought to be a key indicator of that. Less government, more personal responsiblity.
UPDATE: John R. Lott, Jr. and Sonya D. Jones of New York Post.com also way in on the steroid usage issue asking What's So Bad About Steroids?. Once again offering excuses rather than holding these guys accountable. Although I do agree with their premise regarding government regulation. I definately do not believe the government should be getting involved with this situation. I mean, it is o.k. for John McCain to speak up about it and express disgust,dissappointment but threatening government enforcement is going too far.