March 18, 2005

Here's a Hearing

I've decided this post goes on both blogs, so don't be surprised.

I only caught about 30 minutes of the steroids hearing yesterday while I was on the treadmill, and the thirty minutes I saw were the players' panel. I've read a few different recaps, the best being Will Carroll's and David Pinto's. From the sounds of it, there were four separate panels, and here is the reaction to each, keeping in mind the reaction is to both the panel and the congressmen:

1. Senator and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning - Boring
2. Parents and doctors discussing use by children - Misinformed
3. Current and former baseball players - Useless
4. Baseball officials - Well Played

Of course, the big story to come out of the hearings is Mark McGwire and his refusal to answer any questions concerning his past. He wouldn't say whether or not he used performance enhancers, which is his right, I suppose. His stock answer, "I'm not hear to discuss the past, I'm hear to be optimistic for the future," made me cringe every time I heard it, and not because it makes me think he is or isn't a steroid user, but more because is was just so dissatisfying to hear. He wouldn't answer questions about the past, regardless of whether they involved illegal activity.

All that said, however, he didn't ask to be dragged into this, and it's all Jose Canseco's fault that he even had to appear. McGwire has kept a low profile to date since his retirement, and I think he'd be pretty glad if we never heard from him again. Until this month, he's been able to live his life, play golf, and be with his family without fear of hearing his name on the news every day for a month straight. I think he wishes he could stop being pestered by reporters and legislators so he could live his life the way he wishes. I've said before that I think my stance on his participation would be different if he had been trying to keep a life as a public figure since his retirement, but he has clearly desired to keep a low profile. I think the problem was not in that he didn't want to talk, but more in his execution. He was clearly uncomfortable and just wants to be left alone. I think we should leave him alone, and the Skip Bayless and Buster Olney types who crave attention should just find something else to write about.

Of course, the most ridiculous thing was the suggestion that all children under age 18 be mandatorily drug tested. Fourth amendment? What fourth amendment?

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