No other “hot sports story” has deserved the Seinfeldian phrase of yada yada yada, trailing off into a snore as today’s report that Sammy Sosa flunked a drug test in 2003. Outstanding journalism indeed. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
At this point, I’d be more intrigued and surprised (intrised?) if reports were leaked of players found clean during that era. It would also be a shorter list too. In fact, I now believe that the more you hope a player is not on the list, the more likely he is on the list.
We really haven’t held out anti-juice hope since the power hitters of the ’90’s and early 2000’s or the ornery Red Sox/Blue Jays/Yankees/Astros/Yankees pitcher and his cavalcade of syringe artists began popping the lie bubble and dismantling our myopian fantasy of that era of what we thought were giants.
Actually the All-Time Home Run King ended up being a juicing Giant, but that’s a different story altogether.
I’ll tell you who paid the price for all this: The kids that grew up during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.
It’s the Summer of 1998, when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire were both chasing down the single season home run record. Remember rushing home to catch Sportscenter or opening the paper (what’s a paper?) the next morning and see which hulking piece of humanity reduced the baseball to sawdust with the whack of his railroad tie bat? It was a veritable Field Of Dreams. If you hit home runs, they would come. And that they did.
That generation of kids now either feels betrayed by their baseball childhood or easily accepts the “if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin'” mantra.
Even if we wouldn’t allow ourselves to believe it at the time, we knew Sammy was a cheater when he corked everyone in the infield as his bat broke.
Or when he showed up to the famed Senate Hearing and forgot how to speak English but did say through his lawyer ““To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs. I have never injected myself or had anyone inject me with anything.” Then the very next season he showed up looking like his own little brother after deciding to lose some “weight”.
The Senate Hearing quote is my 2nd favorite Sosa quote after this doozy recently that “he would “calmly wait” for his induction into baseball’s Hall of Fame, for which he will become eligible in 2013. Good luck on that one Bruh.
The burning question though, is why throw Sosa under the bus, when he already has so many tire tread marks on him?
The poignant follow-up question is why have only two names been leaked from this list of over 100 that someone’s lawyer has? Is this list being used to gain power? And why has only Sosa and A-Rod, two men of color, been chosen for this sport lynching?
Where are all the white dudes at? You better bet they are on that list. Call me Intrinsic Cynic all day if you want, but I don’t even trust David Eckstein or Craig Counsell at this point.
How much worse can it get? Much worse.
Remember the accomplishment right after the strike that was credited for bringing fans back to the sport? The player’s nickname had a certain Tony Stark feel? I can hear you Frappers screaming “Sacrilege!” for even writing that. But you cannot assume anything at this point.
Days of innocence in baseball are gone for good.
Evidently if you practiced and played hard, gave it your all, and kept your nose clean, it wasn’t enough to play pro ball after all.