A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Friday, January 11, 2008

Fan Indictment Day

Within a few months, people will once again flock to their favorite baseball stadiums for the annual ritual known as opening day. It is a much anticipated day, with fans eager to see their favorite players, munch on a hot dog, down a beer, and perhaps cheer their favorite team to victory. But there may be a new wrinkle for baseball’s opening day this year. Every fan, regardless of their age, could receive their very own indictment for their role in the baseball players steroid use scandal.

Last month, Senator George Mitchell issued his report on steroid use in baseball. It was huge, frank, and named names. It hit the sport like a bombshell, and the finger pointing started almost immediately. Many commentators blamed the players, baseball management for looking the other way, and the sports media for ignoring the rumors about the performance enhancing injections. A few even blamed the fans themselves, as if we were enablers of the problem.

Well, thank you very much for bringing this to our attention! All this time, we thought that the players had their own brains and comprehended the difference between right and wrong, moral and immoral. We never realized that they were mere puppets and that we were the ones pulling their strings! Now we find out we have been the problem the entire time!

These problems have been going on for several generations. Players back in the day of John McGraw and Ed Delahanty (the 1890s) boozed it up and gambled away their bonuses on the ponies. A later generation probably cheered on Ty Cobb when he ran the bases with his spiked cleats, perforating the metatarsal bones of the opposing infielders, and thought nothing of it. Likewise, fans paid to see the Babe hit one out of the park, never dreaming that they were subsidizing a life filled with cigars, booze and very, very loose women.

Did the fans from these earlier times take any grief for their favorite player’s behavior? Hell no, mainly because they were blissfully ignorant of that behavior. Those were the good old days: players could do whatever they wanted and nobody talked to the press. Now people find out a juicy tidbit about someone and immediately shop around for a lucrative book deal.

In my own defense, I will say that yes, I have paid money to attend baseball games, knowing full well that some of that money might make its way into the players' pockets. I never gave a thought of what they did with it – morally or immorally - because at that point it was their business what they did with the money they earned. Sure, I knew Lenny Dykstra chewed tobacco while he waited for a fly ball to come his way, but it’s not like I was tossing cans of Skoal at him as he stood in the outfield. Also, I certainly did not forge any prescriptions for Barry Bonds. Any sports commentator that says otherwise can kiss my ass!

Okay, I’ll admit I have a thing for the great game of baseball. I can’t help it. It is an addiction I’ve had ever since I can remember. Whenever warmer weather comes, I expect to find a baseball game when I turn on the radio or television.

My affliction gets worse when I actually go to a game. It’s the aroma of the recently mowed grass that sets me off first, followed shortly by the pungent fragrance of a stinky stogie that some old codger is puffing away. Then there is the feel of a souvenir baseball bat, with its smooth, varnished well-executed shaft. I curl my fingers around it and run my closed hand along its length, feeling every indentation of the carved major league baseball insignia. Oh yes! This is great! This has got to be better than drugs...

I better stop before Anne Marie begins to hyperventilate. In any case, I will say to the powers to be: come on with your indictments and subpoenas. I have nothing to hide! I have nothing to fear...unless I see Ty Cobb running towards me, then I’ll get the hell out of his way!


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