Interesting game last night. I fell asleep at 6-0 Dodgers and woke up again at 10-6 Nats. I was wide awake for all of Beimel's 40 pitches and through the end. High-fived all three dogs when it was done. Woo hooooo! Eight wins on May 8!
But of course yesterday was a day when the games didn't matter all that much. All anybody wanted to talk about was Manny. I went to my Facebook page (why aren't you my friend yet?) in mid-afternoon. Of the 20 status updates that showed up at that point, 16 were about Manny.
The sad thing is, no one is really surprised anymore by this stuff. Hell, even the Queen is cheating!
When the A-Rod stuff was hitting the fan, my son was pretty disgusted. He was 14 during the Sosa-McGwire summer and starting to get into things as a fan. He enjoyed that home run chase. By the time we got to Bonds, most of the world was convinced he was cheating and the whole chase of Aaron had that nasty tinge to it.
"Seriously, what can we believe anymore?" my son said. "I watch the games and ask myself, 'Is he cheating,' about almost every one of them."
Is Ryan Zimmerman juicing? How about my son's fave, Jeff Francouer? Adam Dunn? Brian McCann? Of course not! They're clean as a whistle, doing things the right way. That's what we think. That's what we hope. The worst thing these cheaters do is cheat the game and the others who play. They cast suspicion on everybody, right or wrong.
I remember covering the 2000 Olympics, when C.J. Hunter got caught doping. The worst thing, I wrote, is the splatter on his wife Marion Jones. Now she'll face the questions. I got a lot of angry response on that one. How dare we point fingers at Marion? Hey, how'd that turn out?
I don't follow baseball, I follow the Nats. On some teams out there, I couldn't name a single player. If some Nat gets nailed for a 50-gamer, I might look at things in a different way. I do know many baseball fans and a lot of them are getting more and more disgusted. Every time a Manny-level story breaks, it does some damage to the game that can never be completely repaired. That's a shame. I'm not sure 50 games is tough enough. I also wonder if baseball has a commissioner who has the rocks to do what it takes. Juice like Manny? See ya, find another way to make your 25 million.
Two other things I wonder about:
*Has the media done a sufficient job looking into drugs in baseball? That topic comes up often in media circles and the consensus seems to be no, the media has not. I still think there's a huge story out there for a reporter willing to pursue it.
*Just how new is this "trend?" Jim Bouton talked a lot about "greenies" in Ball Four - how far back does the drug era really go?