Baseball, Drugs, Football, Sports

There Are No Heroes In This Story

You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.–Donald Rumsfeld

That line, besides being a viciously subtle slap at this great nation’s servicemen and women, also contains a great amount of wisdom. Rummy’s lines had a way of doing that (known knowns, unknown unknown, gnome noams, etc.). For instance, today the sports world stands on the precipice of two wars. And as we survey the looming battlefields, sabres drawn, guns loaded, war analogies wild and unkempt, we face the very real prospect of going to war not with the army we want, but the army we have. Namely, Alex Rodriguez and Johnny Manziel.

But go to battle we must. Our nation’s sports, all teetering precariously on a foundation of absolute hypocrisy, threaten to come crashing down. We are aghast at the mere presence of performance enhancing drugs. At least, that’s what some dude at GNC told me. And while we believe in the free market reflexively, we do not believe a 20-year-old should share in the fruits of his labors. These are the motivating paradoxes of our current sports age and they are threatening to unravel right before our eyes. Isn’t this exciting!? It’s like when the Berlin Wall came down and the kid in your class brought the little pebble and he said “Look, this was the Berlin Wall.” And you squinted and shivered at the mere sight of such an important artifact but, seriously? You wanted to beat that kid in the face and take his history rock.

Let’s talk something other than that jerk kid and his cool commie gravel…


The news this week that Major League Baseball was finally bringing the hammer down on Alex Rodriguez because of alleged use of performance enhancing drugs was predictable and pathetic. Predictable because the news had been telegraphed for weeks. Pathetic because it was the culmination of a process that barely bothered itself with resembling legal concepts of fairness. Por ejemplo:

The league examined the Facebook pages of Biogenesis, clinic chief Anthony Bosch and Porter Fischer, a former Biogenesis employee who provided documents to the Miami New Times for their initial report back in January. MLB also hired a data recovery company to obtain records from Bosch’s cell phone after he agreed to cooperate with their investigation.

“To catch the most sophisticated intentional fraudsters, you have to use non-analytical means, which is another reason why baseball’s effort here is such a pivotal moment for the anti-doping fight,” said Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency. “It’s like traditional law enforcement methods. Even without the powers of law enforcement — wiretaps, search warrants — you can still have success in obtaining these documents.”

First of all, non-analytical is precisely the term I would invent to describe this charade. Second of all, never trust a man who is a “CEO” of something that doesn’t make money.

Bud Selig has decided to throw his lot in with the religious zealots from the anti-doping world. The pee sniffers who populate this puritanical world of outrage and pearl clutching are just the types you want to steer clear of if you’re heading a professional athletic outfit. The race to the earnest bottom leads nowhere but here. Consider yourself warned.

I’ve waited most of my adult life for Alex Rodriguez to suffer for his she-hulk loving, lip gloss wearing ways. And yet Bud Selig has snatched victory away from me with this pathetic attempt to pillory A-Rod. On top of highly questionable evidence-gathering on Facebook and bullying steroid hustlers, the commish has decided that what is really necessary is to throw out any pretense of fairness and get NFL-level medieval on Alex Rodriguez’s ass. For his first suspension, clearly explicated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Rodriguez will miss four times as many games as he should. Sure, why the hell not?

Bud Selig made me defend Alex Rodriguez. I think I’ll go shower now.


The other a**hole who has been caught in a web of bulls**t this week is Johnny Football hisself, Johnny Manziel. Putting the cherry on top of a summer spent alienating whatever non-Aggie diehards that rooted for the first freshman to win the Heisman was news this week that Manziel had been signing memorabilia for money. And there’s video. If you wonder why I think Manziel’s a jerk, read this article penned by Wright Thompson. He’s a jerk and so is his trust fund daddy and no amount of self-awareness could possibly make that untrue. Anyway.

This jerk has now been placed directly in the crosshairs of an organization that is so pathetic, hypocritical, and craven, they likely will make an appearance as the villain in the next ill-advised Indiana Jones movie. The NCAA pretends to care about amateurism, but profits wildly off amateurs. It pretends to care about the student-athlete, but exists mostly as a cartel to protect old, barely literate coaches, boosters, and assorted dimwits and the money they leech off the poor students. It pretends to care about fairness and yet, it can’t run a decent investigation to save its bureaucratic life.

Last night, Manziel’s lawyer posited that Johnny Football will play this year. And hell, he’s probably right. Cam Newton’s dad straight begged for money and that couldn’t stop War damned Eagle. And that’s a good thing. The bad thing is, the NCAA can’t stop itself once it gets the taste for human meat. And so it will continue searching for an easier victim. To paraphrase Jerry Tarkanian, the NCAA is so mad at Johnny Manziel, it will probably slap another two years probation on Cleveland State.

And so we have yet another investigation that only gives subtle nods to the notions of fairness and propriety. They have a bunch of two-bit autograph peddlers who won’t talk to them. Because they don’t have to. And justice will somehow be meted out. Because a decision must be made and the NCAA must appear to be something other than a toothless bureaucracy. They want so desperately to do something, so they’ll do just about anything. The organizational equivalent of George Zimmerman, running around, flashing its piece, swearing to the world its a real cop.


* Former NBA journeyman Chris Gatling pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his attempt to rent out a home he was squatting in. The potential renters got suspicious when Chris Gatling showed them the corner that he liked to doodoo in.

* We missed this last week, but Houston Rockets forward Terrence Jones was arrested for allegedly stomping on a homeless man. The scouting report on Jones used to read “poor man’s Cliff Robinson.” Now it reads “homeless man’s nightmare.”

* Michael Beasley was arrested for marijuana possession this week. In the comments, feel free to share the least shocking thing you’ve heard this week.

Facebook, other electronic records used during Biogenesis investigation [CBS Sports]
Johnny Manziel family hires attorney [ESPN]

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