Ok, you can call me un-American….

And I know that many of you will.  Baseball is so ingrained in our culture as "America's sport" that what I am about to say will upset someone, probably a lot of someones, I am sure of that. I apologize in advance and kindly, with a smile, remind you of the 1st Amendment.

I want this to be clearly understood, I respect our government.  I consider myself a very patriotic American. I cry at the sight of the flag, the sound of the National Anthem or a soldier in uniform.  I may not always agree with our government and I definitely don't believe that it is flawless, but I firmly believe that we have the best system in the world.   But seriously folks…..

What is Congress doing with these hearings into steroids in baseball? I get that it is a problem.  I get that there are people who may have lied and cheated their way into record books, fame and fortune.  I get that some of the substances that are alleged to have been used may be illegal.  I also understand that there are business implications.
But I am infuriated by the waste of time, energy and resources to have multiple members of Congress, their aides, court reporters, security, all the trappings and expense of Congressional hearings being spent on an issue that centers around a kids' game.   Now I love baseball and I am just as distressed as anyone else by hearing that some of my heroes, my sons' heroes may have found ways to enhance their performance, essentially cheating their way into our hearts.  But the reality is, there are issues that are so much larger, so much more urgent, so much more important – the war, poverty, education, healthcare.  Pick one or any one of dozens of others.  They all warrant the full attention of our legislators.  So why are our legislators spending all of this time and money looking for answers that they are not likely to find.  Even if those answers are found, what will come of them?  How likely is it that there will be any true repercussions other than embarrassment for anyone who was involved?  A perfect example, is anyone naive enough to really believe the owners and managers were unaware?  That they could sit back and watch the physical and performance changes in their players and not at least suspect something.  Why are they not being held more accountable?  To be honest, I don't care.  If these grown up little boys have chosen to ruin their lives and their bodies with these foolish decisions, whatever the consequences are, they deserve them. 

I do have a problem with these athletes and the amount of influence they have had on our youth. The impression they are instilling that it is ok to go to any lengths to be better than anyone else.  My hope is that somewhere in all of the face-time with the press and the finger-wagging that this is the message our Congressmen are trying to send.  But there are better ways.  Hey baseball owners, step up, take responsibility for your part in this.  If you were to make the right gesture, the right step to fixing this situation, maybe our legislators could get back to their real jobs.

Oh, and owners and players, if you want some suggestions.  Take some from the mom of 2 boys.   How about all of you putting together a fund, a substantial fund out of all of those ridiculous profits and salaries, to start better education and outreach programs.  Get public service announcements out there, get some of the players, good & bad into the schools, in front of these kids with the realities of what this poison can do to their lives.  Put some pop-up ads on their video games – get in their face.  Just "step up to the plate" and start making a difference.  Turn this very negative situation into something positive. 

And maybe, just maybe, if you are really serious about fixing your internal problems, they won't have to be addressed externally.  Then I can have my government back.  Back doing the things that matter, the things they were elected to do.  Because I know, I didn't elect them to pay more attention to a bunch of baseball players than to the our soldiers, our kids and our poor.

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10 Comments

  1. Glad to see the evangelisism coming out in your writing…keep that up, writing from the heart, even if it's dead wrong (which I'm in no way saying you are) is never a totally bad thing, maybe not even a bad thing at all…
    that said, I felt the exact same as you did on this subject, until I learned from NPR that it really was started by the death of a kid who used steroids to "mimmick" his fav heroes, (it's so late i'm at that point where even easy words look wrong no matter how i spell them and too tired to check each one so prob lots of spelling errors, sorry)…anyway one of his heros, which is what these athletes really represent because of our aculturation to strive to "keep up with the jones'" etc, which is capitalist driven in nature, drives us to…
    sigh, i'm not clear am I? sorry…it is late…but yeah…there is a dead kid so it is deep, but even still, I still think your points hold up really well, and i'm glad i happened to stumble upon your blog and read your words…
    thank! ~ @jesatiu

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  2. This is the remainder of the response from Little Brother Tim
    ok… the firewall here at work won't let me put up a response to Jesse. You want to put it up on my behalf? ;~) Ok… it's early and I'm still working on my first cup of coffee, but I guess that's not going to change the fact that I'll ALWAYS stand up for my sister. Jesse, I hear your points, but allow me to dig into the root of the problem of the kid who used steroids to "mimmick" his favorite heros? While, sef-admittedly, I'm not deeply aware of the individual situation you heard on NPR, let me say one thing… if he was under 18, where were his parents? If he was over 18, the is an adult. I also whole-heartedly agree with Glo regarding Congress' use of their time deeply examining this situation while there is plenty of other work to do. Hold on… I guess the question is why? Why are they even examining this? Let's look at a job description perhaps? Congress has responsibilities. It’s true. They’re listed in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Let’s recap. Congress shall: collect taxes; regulate commerce; pay debts; naturalize citizens; coin money; and punish counterfeiters. It shall: establish postal routes; promote the arts and sciences; hold tribunals; and punish pirates. And it shall: declare war; raise armies; and pass laws needed to do those other things. Where exactly does it say that we need to watch out for grown men pumping their bodies full of enhancement drugs? Better yet, where does it say that they even talk about baseball? They've got plenty of other things to concentrate on right now. Why are they wasting their time and MY tax dollars? Last time I took a look at my paycheck (and recently filed my return) I'm pretty sure they're working form me!With all that being said… while I can understand parts of you concern and what may bring you to your commets, I guess you can understand my disagreement with them. Plus… that's my sister dude! ;~)

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  3. This is the remainder of the response from Little Brother Tim
    ok… the firewall here at work won't let me put up a response to Jesse. You want to put it up on my behalf? ;~) Ok… it's early and I'm still working on my first cup of coffee, but I guess that's not going to change the fact that I'll ALWAYS stand up for my sister. Jesse, I hear your points, but allow me to dig into the root of the problem of the kid who used steroids to "mimmick" his favorite heros? While, sef-admittedly, I'm not deeply aware of the individual situation you heard on NPR, let me say one thing… if he was under 18, where were his parents? If he was over 18, the is an adult. I also whole-heartedly agree with Glo regarding Congress' use of their time deeply examining this situation while there is plenty of other work to do. Hold on… I guess the question is why? Why are they even examining this? Let's look at a job description perhaps? Congress has responsibilities. It’s true. They’re listed in Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Let’s recap. Congress shall: collect taxes; regulate commerce; pay debts; naturalize citizens; coin money; and punish counterfeiters. It shall: establish postal routes; promote the arts and sciences; hold tribunals; and punish pirates. And it shall: declare war; raise armies; and pass laws needed to do those other things. Where exactly does it say that we need to watch out for grown men pumping their bodies full of enhancement drugs? Better yet, where does it say that they even talk about baseball? They've got plenty of other things to concentrate on right now. Why are they wasting their time and MY tax dollars? Last time I took a look at my paycheck (and recently filed my return) I'm pretty sure they're working form me!With all that being said… while I can understand parts of you concern and what may bring you to your commets, I guess you can understand my disagreement with them. Plus… that's my sister dude! ;~)

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  4. AND A RESPONSE FROM EDDIE SPAGHETTI
    I AGREE 100% and there is no bigger baseball fan than Yankee me. I am concerned with the performance enhancing drug issue, and the effect it has on our kids in sports.The desire to be the best and win is a very strong force. I am FAR more concerned about the sickening behavior of both democrats and republicans on this panel and the disgusting pandering that is going on here. The idiots just seem to want face time. To them it is a way to campaign with out spending their own money.THEY SPEND OUR MONEY instead.This message to me, is far worse than the steroid one. What message is THIS one to the youth of our great country? That it is ok for our leadership to spout emotionally laden, meaningless drivel about Roger Clemens reputation or baseball’s anti trust exemption instead of what the imbalance of trade and currency hokey pokey that is going on with China is doing to our economy and unemployment rate? Ever look closely at an”American Girl” doll? MADE IN CHINA! It just freaked me out to see them come and go during the course of the hearing, too, with committee members asking the same questions that were asked by the member before them, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT PRESENT TO HEAR THE ANSWER THE FIRST TIME? What to do think would happen to us if did that at a meeting with our boss?Clemens, McNamee,Petit, et al, should be dealt with. The real embarrassment are our elected officials.

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  5. AND A RESPONSE FROM EDDIE SPAGHETTI
    I AGREE 100% and there is no bigger baseball fan than Yankee me. I am concerned with the performance enhancing drug issue, and the effect it has on our kids in sports.The desire to be the best and win is a very strong force. I am FAR more concerned about the sickening behavior of both democrats and republicans on this panel and the disgusting pandering that is going on here. The idiots just seem to want face time. To them it is a way to campaign with out spending their own money.THEY SPEND OUR MONEY instead.This message to me, is far worse than the steroid one. What message is THIS one to the youth of our great country? That it is ok for our leadership to spout emotionally laden, meaningless drivel about Roger Clemens reputation or baseball’s anti trust exemption instead of what the imbalance of trade and currency hokey pokey that is going on with China is doing to our economy and unemployment rate? Ever look closely at an”American Girl” doll? MADE IN CHINA! It just freaked me out to see them come and go during the course of the hearing, too, with committee members asking the same questions that were asked by the member before them, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT PRESENT TO HEAR THE ANSWER THE FIRST TIME? What to do think would happen to us if did that at a meeting with our boss?Clemens, McNamee,Petit, et al, should be dealt with. The real embarrassment are our elected officials.

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  6. AND FROM ANDY
    Great thoughts! It seems all to often that our news anchors and, sadly, our politicians, conclude that just because the public might be titillated by a particular topic (and tune in)it is therefore worth talking about….(think Paris Hilton, Brittany, clothing malfunctions at the super bowl, steroids in baseball). Are we really paying these clowns to do this stuff? And if we let them get away with it…shame on us. I can certainly see why those in Congress would rather sit around taking easy shots at rich ballplayers than to get together in a room and try to figure out how to solve, yes solve, any problem which would have some effect on the rest of us. OK….I officially transfer the soap box.

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  7. I still think that this is all another one of Washington's smoke screens to try to get our focus off of the real problems. They HYPE the heck out of this at the same time they are trying to back door their "little" pet projects into the funding bill. I used to be a HUGE baseball fan but since the strike, steriods and the lack of play that I have seen in baseball players of late, I have gown down to Triple A baseball. Go to one of those games and you see the guys still running out pop flys, diving for balls, and giving their all. I know they are trying to get to the show, but they make the games interesting all of the time. Plus you can park, go to the game, buy a couple of beers and something to eat without having to strain your budget. I can go watch the Fort Worth Cats for about 1/3 of the price as the Texas Rangers and be two or three rows off of 1st base.
    But back to the real situation, I would not be suprised if all of the members of that comittee, Rupublicans and Democrats, get together at Mortens, eat a big steak and drink $200 bottles of wine and laugh at how they are getting another one over on the taxpayers.

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  8. man am i glad i came back to check n see if my comment made it up.obviously i put two thoughts too close together up there. one, writing from the heart is good thing…didn't have anything to do with content of glo's article, just was general statement. two, i agree on the fact that government as it is (not)working is a complete waste, and even, in some cases, illegal on so many levels.
    i have posts on my blog about taxes and what that funds, and posts linked from a recent blog on being responsible-in general. which means, responsible parents, kids, and adults (parents sans children, they exist, too…i was partially raised by one).
    i gues my main concern is: where in my writing i was unclear enough to cause another to

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  9. Damn that was a great post! Absolutely correct. Why are they wasting tax payer dollars (and you know what their salaries are) discussing such trivial BS when there are starving children in our country, homeless people, Katrina victims still waiting for a little assistance, an insurance crisis etc. Need I go on?
    As Americans we need to stand up and use our freedom of speech to voice our opinion on these topics to our state legislators. They need to hear what we're all saying on our blogs and they need to act on it on our behalf.

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