Hadfield: Knee-jerk reactions to MLB’s Biogenesis problem

It's doubtful that Alex Rodriguez is laughing these days given what transpired this week. Credit: Getty Images
It’s doubtful that Alex Rodriguez is laughing these days given what transpired this week.
Credit: Getty Images

With news that MLB is reportedly going after more than 20 players who allegedly received PEDs from a Florida based company named Biogenesis, we’re on the verge of what could be the largest performance-enhancing drug scandal in American sports history. Here are three knee-jerk reactions that offer you, the reader, blind rationalization and more questions than answers.

1. Complexity Creates Complacency: People incessantly cheat every day. Maybe you use the breakdown lane to get ahead of traffic (I hate you, by the way), or maybe you steal your neighbor’s Wi-Fi. Who knows? The argument against PED use in sports is simple: Chemical intervention subtracts from idealistic hopes of “purity” and seeing “the best man win” in a natural setting. But let me be honest: At this point, I cannot begin to understand the overwhelming minutia of the issue, or how deep it runs. Frankly, neither do you.

The epidemic reminds me of the national debt. I’m informed about the basics; understand it’s a problem of great magnitude that affects posterities going forward; hope for pragmatic jurisprudence on the matter – all of that. But given that we don’t know where it starts, or where it ends, or how widespread and rampant PED use actually is, remedying the issue is a fool’s errand. What I do know is this: PED use will always exist. Is my refusal to repudiate that fact waving the white flag, or just a dude coming to terms and being realistic?

2. Guilty By Association: MLB is trying to impose 100 game suspensions here, which is the penalty for second time offenders. While certain players allegedly in question, like Alex Rodriguez, have admitted to PED use in the past, many have never been found guilty. Despite this, MLB is apparently charging one offense for lying about their link to Biogenesis and a second for the actual use. To be fair to the players, this methodology comes as redundant; like an insurance company nailing your premium for totaling your car and speeding, too. The logic is specious at best, and disingenuous at worst.

Look, as a 12-year-old, I was in no position to adjudicate on the cause of the home run surge during the summer of ’98, when Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire captured America with record setting seasons. Those in position, namely the league and media, failed … and failed miserably. I’m not absolving the players here; in fact, I’m for a 100 game suspension on the first offense. Still, the policy in place is 50 games. And chicanery aside, dolling out 100 game suspensions to first-time offenders feels vindictive, like Sports McCarthyism, and a misguided way of earning America’s trust back.

3. Seriously, what are we really doing here, guys? My dirty secret: I enjoyed the summer of ’98. I enjoyed the David Ortiz Experience, even if his reputation has been somewhat sullied due to (unfounded) speculation of PED use. The worst part of this whole debacle is the hearsay … the uncertainty.

I’m not in the business of aimless conjecture, nor do I enjoy playing the “Do you think Adrian Peterson is juicing? What about Jeter? Kobe?” game with friends on a Saturday night at the bar for kicks. Not my bag. Alas, that’s the position fellow athletes (see Bonds, Barry) have put on their peers. Every athlete is guilty until proven innocent. I watch sports to be distracted from the everyday grind, not to be barraged with questions of morality or to play a massive game of “Clue.” Yet here we are, again, in the same position we’ve been in since the Mitchell Report.

Follow Ryan Hadfield on Twitter @Hadfield__



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.