I’ve tried and tried to not have this conversation. Or have these thoughts. But, it’s just not possible.
This is a discussion that we have to have. Just like that dreaded discussion you had to have with Pops (or worst yet, Moms) about the Birds and the Bees. Let’s talk about performance enhancing drug use in pro and/or competitive sports. If I have to broach this subject, I’d prefer not to give the impression that I’m trying to tag along on the wave of the latest scandal for the sake of proving my point. The problem with that is, it’s almost a daily occurrence.
So this take is not really in response to the Lance Armstrong allegations of today. I strive to maintain a “glass half full” outlook. I’m confident he will again come out of this charge exonerated. I also possess a somewhat twisted sense of humor that I wrestle with which makes me wonder if these charges are found to be true, if the throngs will sport yellow “Juice Strong” bracelets. I hope for the sake of this very worthy cause and the victory Lance had defeating cancer, that he proves again he is clean and above board.
This is also not in response to Frank Robinson’s turning on Rafael Palmeiro today, which may have something to do with the fact that Palmeiro is only 17 home runs behind him in the record books. We caught a piercing glimpse of Robinson’s bitterman act in Anaheim, er……LA Anaheim of the OC, earlier this season.
This unavoidable conversation is just that…….unavoidable. It doesn’t matter if you are talking to yourself or others, it always comes back as a consideration. This happened to me again this past Sunday while I was eating lunch with friends. The Halos/BoSox game was on and Steve Finley weakly grounded out in the infield which has been the norm so far this season. I turned to my friends and without engaging my brain to mouth filter, quickly mused, “Do you guys think Finley’s problems have to do with…..” Before I could finish, they both jumped in with the age, transition, history of slow starts, “reasons” that it couldn’t be true.
Thanks to those of you that adopted “If you aren’t cheating you aren’t trying” method of raising the level of your game. You painted yourself, your teammates, and sports with the broad brush of scrutiny, doubt, and disbelief.
If you guys and gals won’t listen to Nancy Reagan, then listen to Spade and that new Farley kid on those Capitol One ads and just say no.