Friday, March 18, 2005

He-men and the Hill

There they sat. Five men a long way from the friendly confines of a dugout. The cameras weren't exactly their friends today. They were there in the hopes of capturing something.... monumental? Probably not. The only real question poised is why hasn't Curt Schilling run for public office? He did his best step-and-avoid-it today! Did anyone really expect anything from the Congressional hearings on steroid abuse in baseball today? I sure didn't. I knew Jose Canseco would play the savior and attempt to become the second coming of truth within the multi-leveled hypocricies of major league baseball. I knew Palmeiro would flash his panache and point his finger- especially since he has the luxury of being the only player involved in this fiasco that hasn't been mentioned since day one. His name has only been dragged through the mud for 30 days or so. And I certainly knew Sammy Sosa would play the "i-don't-speak-english-well-enough-yet-to-soundly-answer-any-questions-even-though-i've-been-in-the-states-since-1948 schtick". It worked well. Give the man an Oscar. He certainly knows what to say when your brand new baseball organization sends a ride to pick you up at the airport and you request a limo instead. But perhaps the real revelation came from Mark McGwire. Neither confirming nor denying his involvement with the usage of performance enhancing drugs, he was clearly the committee's shadow target after that. It was obvious the committee was on a witch hunt, and they just may have achived that purpose after McGwire's non answer. Pointedly trying to goad a definitive yes or no out of him after his opening statement, McGwire stood steadfast and replied that he only wished to discuss the present and future, not the past. I think I'll try that next time I end up in court. I doubt it will work. Still, I have to admit that baseball took a minor varnishing today-if only in my mind. And not simply because of the actions on the Hill, but because all of this hoopla has taken away from the blossoming feeling of spring training. Instead of looking forward to opening day, everyone now has to wonder what will happen in the future. The last thing I want are congressional suits fucking around with the unparalalled bliss that baseball gives me. But, after seeing these guys on the hill today, I'm forced to remind myself that the only way baseball will exist as an innocent pastime is in my teenage head.... times when I remember meeting Pete Rose at a baseball card convention before slamming into the revelation that he committed a cardinal sin. Times when I'd spend my days reading the stats on the back of baseball cards and creating my own lineups. If all of this sounds too fatalistic.. perhaps it is. I'm a knee jerker and in 3 months, this may all blow over. But right now, it stings.