Friday, December 14, 2007

Idiot Commentary on Baseball and Steroids

Dan Wetzel, a sports commentator for Yahoo! Sports, wrote a column in the wake of the Mitchell Report -- the 400+ page investigation into steroid use in baseball. The major headline coming out of the report is that 7-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens allegedly used steroids beginning in 1998. The charges stem from testimony from a former New York Yankees trainer currently "cooperating" with federal authorities.

Wetzel proposed in his column that Roger Clemens is no different from Barry Bonds, the 7-time Most Valuable Player who has been dogged by stories that he also has used steroids in his quest to become the record-setter for career home runs.

Wetzel's contention that Clemens and Bonds are the same is ludicrous. Bonds admitted using performance-enhancing drugs before a grand jury, and has currently been indicted for perjury in the same proceedings. A former trainer of Clemens who is in trouble with authorities has made *allegations* that Clemens and others used steroids. There's a major difference there.

Wetzel also claimed that Clemens and the 70+ other former and current players named in the report could easily sue baseball and its officials if the charges were false -- the implication being that if they don't sue, they must be guilty. Wetzel is way off base here, too. Major league baseball players are public figures, and they would have to show that the institution of baseball conspired to harm their reputations. All baseball has to do is show that it was diligent in its investigation to restore integrity to the game and the powers that be are off the hook.

Wetzel should know better than to think allegations are the same as proof. Just ask the three Duke lacrosse players falsely accused of rape who went through a year of living hell in no small way exacerbated by this kind of irresponsible media behavior.


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