Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Feb 17, 2008
The congressional hearings on Roger Clemens and steroids was in full bloom last week as he and his accuser sat at the same table and endured heavy grilling from different congressional leaders.
I’m not here to take sides on this one, though I do have an opinion on it. I’m here to give an opinion on two other things. The first is that I don’t believe this is an issue that Congress should be dealing with. I mean, we’re in an election year. We have problems with the economy, we’re still in Iraq, we’re starting to see signs of global warming that may be our fault, they’re predicting gas could reach $5 a gallon by summer, houses are being foreclosed upon at record rates, they just recalled even more food products after having recalls of toys and the like all throughout last year, and unemployment is rising. Don’t these guys have better things to do that bring in Roger Clemens and others on something that has absolutely nothing to do with them, stuff that supposedly happened many, many years ago?
Two, this thing about steroids and other drugs in baseball. There are now rules for using steroids in baseball, but there weren’t in the past. Why is this suddenly a big issue? There are many sports pundits who are saying that the games and records are tainted because these athletes have been using steroids and thus the playing field wasn’t level. Please; stupidest argument I’ve ever heard. We know as a fact that football players have been using steroids since the late 60’s, and no one is saying those games shouldn’t matter. Baseball players have long used other drugs and stimulants because of the number of games they play, and no one has ever said that tainted the game. Doc Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates wrote in his book about being stoned on cocaine back in the early 70’s when he was pitching, and the Pirates won a World Series; anyone talking about taking that championship back?
Once something is made illegal, that’s when the story changes, because now there are rules on the books. I can fully understand that, and agree with it. But the way Congress is running these witch hunts on things that happened in the past needs to come to an end. Congress needs to get back to the business of taking care of the country, sports leagues need to get back to enforcing the rules they have at the time they set them, and the rest of us need to be allowed to just get back to watching sports and enjoying them for what they are.
And now I’m off this soapbox.