Friday, March 18, 2005

Baseball Gets Grilled

Sometimes, in this job you anticipate something being great and it lets you down. For instance, I cite the Super Bowl as being lots and lots of build-up, followed by a huge disappointment. But, then there are other times, when you expect nothing out of an event, and it ends up being wonderful.

I offer you the Congressional Inquiry on Baseball and Steroids. What wonderful television. I readily admit that it was a sad day for Baseball, and maybe just as disappointing was that it was a sadder day for Mark McGwire, but without even having the slightest interest in watching anymore than the highlights when the day began, I was sucked in like Princess Leia’s ship by the tractor beam on the Death Star.

It was amazingly entertaining television. Especially, Panel 4, which included Commissioner Bud Selig, Players Association Director Donald Fehr, MLB counsel Rob Manfred, and ancillary figures Sandy Alderson and Kevin Towers.

What fun! Selig and Fehr were grilled repeatedly. They hung in there the best they could with their flimsy premises that are built around the idea that steroids are “not that big a problem”, but there was no surviving the onslaught. And then there was the smug Manfred, who offered a few angry faces for questions he did not appreciate. I so enjoyed it. There is something rewarding about watching people who live to make others squirm have to face the same treatment for the first time in a long time.

Meanwhile, McGwire offered one half of a sad Abbott and Costello routine where he suggested so weakly that “he would not talk about the past”. Try that defense when you are being prosecuted for a crime sometime and see how that stands up. Suddenly, Jose Canseco seemed more credible than McGwire! You could have won money on those odds 24 hours ago.

What is the next step? Perhaps MLB will now re-do their steroid policy, and try to reduce the five strikes to say, three. Or, perhaps we will begin the debate about McGwire seeing Cooperstown without having to buy a ticket. Either way, shame on me for not realizing how great a day of television this was going to be. I could hardly pay attention to college basketball until they called an end to the proceedings around 8:30. Congrats to Congress for some great television.


The Hearings Scorecard

Stark on McGwire’s demise

Once, he was compared to Babe Ruth.

Thursday, he was compared to Enron.

That's not what you call a great day on Capitol Hill. But that's the kind of day it was for a fallen living legend named Mark McGwire.

People are never going to look at him the same now. Not after a day of dodging questions the way he once dodged fastballs steaming toward his eyebrows.

Legally, of course, McGwire didn't have to answer those questions. Remember that. The men who wrote the Constitution handed him that right. So in a way, all he did was exercise his fundamental right to avoid ensconcing himself in a whole mess of trouble.

But a lot of good that will do Not So Big Mac with millions of people who once loved him, cheered him, froze their existences those four times a night when he walked toward home plate.

It was way too clear what he didn't want to talk about and why he didn't want to talk about it. Now he has to know, just as we know, what that means.
It means he drove his reputation off a cliff Thursday, and left his legacy irreparably splattered. Very possibly beyond repair.

Mavs beat Portland amidst boos …And believe it or not, 3 of the most maligned Mavericks saved the day: Without Van Horn, Bradley, and Finley’s games, the Mavs lose…

In one of the dumbest traditions in sports, Emmitt resigns with Cowboys for 1 day ….

Bat Girl reenacts the hearings

Champions League Draw revealed ...

Champions League quarter-finals draw:

LIVERPOOL v Juventus
AC Milan v Inter Milan
Lyon v PSV Eindhoven
CHELSEA v Bayern Munich

The first legs will take place on 5/6 April with the returns a week later.

Hockey’s owners offer the players another proposal that they know will never be accepted …As Hockey continues to die…

Lucas calls new Star Wars a titanic tearjerker ….

The Wire – back in 2006 for Season 4

Genius website of the day: Save Toby …Please…

Friday Winners: NC State, Florida, Villanova, UConn, Oklahoma St, Iowa St, UNC, S. Illinois, Mississippi St, Kansas, Ga Tech, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Duke, Syracuse, Louisville

Thursday Record: 10-6 (not that great)


X-factor said...

I'm going for Juventus to win it all.

Jeff said...

My favorite part of the hockey story:

"Perhaps there's another way of doing things that can achieve a better result for everybody."
Does that mean a radically different-looking counter-offer?
"Anything's possible, the process might be advanced by some new, original thinking," Saskin said.

Yeah right... that's freaking hilarious Ted.