Sunday, January 17, 2010

without a jot of blood

Well, with exactly one month and one day until pitchers and catchers report (Yippee!!!), I figured now was as good a time as any to jump back into this whole blogging thing.

Actually, I've started countless posts over the last couple of months, but just couldn't finish one, at least not satisfactorily.

Not that there hasn't been anything going on.

Heavens, no. It's been busy. And a little loco.

Of course, you don't need to hear from me that the Cards signed Matt Holliday for $119-120 over the next seven years, or that he inexplicably changed his number to #7 (and no, the, "Jim Edmonds wore #15 and I want to set myself apart, blah, blah," nonsense is not an acceptable explanation), or that no matter how hard he tries (and he will try), he will never usurp Albert's throne, or that there was absolutely no factor in his decision more motivating than all those zeroes (no matter how the idiots on KSDK try to spin it). So I won't tell you.

I also won't tell you that somehow, someway, we let Mark DeRosa get away to the Giants, and no one in the front office even hiccupped. That was disappointing for me. I mean, I had a feeling he wouldn't be back, but I didn't expect him to get the Aaron Miles treatment, for goodness sake.

And, finally, I most definitely will not tell you about the long overdue confession/explanation/apology we all heard from Mark McGwire. I believe I've made my feelings about Big Mac pretty clear, so there's little reason to continue beating that horse. It's dead.

Want to know the truth? I didn't even watch it. Why should I? I know the plot. I know the characters. I know the outcome. His words, no matter how well-rehearsed, were predictable and pointless.

Heck, yes, he took steroids. Heck, yes, he would have taken anything to improve his performance. Why? Because baseball is hard. Because it's all about appearance. Because he was getting old. Because everyone else was doing it. And mostly because there was no risk of getting caught.

See. What else is there to say?

No one is going to stand in front of a nation of baseball lovers and say, "I did it because I have no respect for the game." Or in front of a nation of people struggling with unemployment and debt and say, "I did it because the millions of dollars I already had weren't enough."

Don't get me wrong, though. I love the man. His pedestal is almost as high as Albert's for me.

Sure, he should have said it long ago. 

I have heard all the arguments, and I understand people's outrage and disappointment. But in the end, how do you justify cheating? You don't. You come clean and move on. You can't make it right. You can't give back the home runs. You can't undo the damage. So what exactly do we want from him? A pound of flesh?

It's time for us to move on, too. Move on from this, and from the whole steroids scandal of the 90s in general. We need strict rules, strict testing, and strict punishment, and that way, 10 or 15 years down the road, we won't be subjected to another generation of apologies.

Did I mention that pitchers and catchers report in 32 days? Does anything else really matter?