Friday, December 14, 2007

Yawn. The Mitchell Report is out.

It seems like the news media is having more of a field day with the Mitchell Report than the fans -- and understandably so.

The report on alleged steroid use in baseball ostensibly confirms what many people probably already thought and pretty much had resigned themselves to. (It was nice, though, not to see Sammy Sosa's name in there.)

Perhaps the somewhat attenuated response has something to do with the fact that this is just another sign of why many of us gave up on these overpaid crybabies a long time ago.

It's hard to say when it started. Maybe when players thought their annual salary should be more than the cost of building a new school. Or when a working person could no longer afford to take the kids to a ball game. Or when perfectly good stadiums had to be replaced because there weren't enough luxury suites.

Those of us baby boomers who grew up around here remember the likes of Hank Aaron, Warren Spann, Joe Adcock, Del Crandall, Nelson Fox, Minnie Minoso, Early Wynn, Luis Aparicio, Ron Santo, Ernie Banks, Randy Hundley and many others who were paid less (Spann used to point out that in the early days players didn't even have health insurance!) and performed better. They didn't need to be on steroids and they weren't crybabies because someone else got a better contract because they had a better agent.

Professional sports lost whatever semblance of innocence it had a long, long time ago.

And, we, too, have some of the blame for our continued acceptance of deviant behavior.

Some 20 years ago when I was being interviewed for a federal security clearance some wacky FBI agent kept pressing me about drug use in college, saying he didn't think it was possible for anyone to have gone to the University of Wisconsin in Madison without doing drugs.

Wrong. There were a lot of us. And I read this bozo the riot act about that b.s.

What was equally insulting, though, was his comment that: "It doesn't matter if you did some stuff in college. We just need to know about it. If we couldn't hire anyone who smoked pot while they were in school, we'd have trouble finding people."

So we lower the bar...and lower...and lower...until it's down to the gutter.

What a country.

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