Thursday, March 18, 2010

How Dare They?!

Ron Washington, manager of the Texas Rangers, admitted to using cocaine (mostly because he got tested soon after he had done the drug- so yeah, he got caught.) There is outrage in the baseball community because a 57 year old manager did cocaine for what he claims was the "first and only time" he's ever done it. Is there anything funnier than someone getting caught with drugs (or steroids or cheating on their wife etc. etc.) and then saying, "It was the only time I've ever done it." Riiiiight.

I have two things to talk a bit about, neither are mind boggling, but we lose sight of them as a collective society often. First, athletes, actors, musicians, state workers, restaurant owners, cab drivers, Blackjack dealers, garbage men, stock investors, and pretty much anyone that breathes is not perfect. Did you hear that? Zero people are perfect. I know we love to hold celebrities up on a pedestal, and cheer them in the media as model humans that our children should be able to look up to, but guess what? That is a horrible idea. Literally, allowing celebrities to be role models, then being surprised when they are caught doing something improper is like buying a ticket to Saw 6, and then being horrified when you watch the movie and realize it's quite violent. You've seen the story before, don't fall into the trap again.

But you must be wondering at this point, Tony, Ron Washington is barely a celebrity so why even bother mentioning him? Is it funny that he looks like a 57 year old version of Tyrone Biggums? Is it because he is supposed to lead his players, one of which is a former drug addict (Josh Hamilton)? Or could it possibly be that for whatever reason, more people seem to care when baseball as a sport is outed for having a drug problem? Yes, the last one seems really odd, and that's where I'm going.

Why do we care so damn much whenever anyone involved with baseball is caught with any kind of drug? Baseball is a fun sport. I love it. But let's be honest, it has a sorted past. I mean, Ty Cobb was a damn good player, but I know two things about that guy. One, he loved sliding into second "spikes up." And two, he was a huge bigot. Even in the early years of baseball, it was not as pure as many fans want to believe.

Baseball players took amphetamines for years and years in order to prepare for gameday. Since banning those substances, the number of late 30s, early 40s players has diminished significantly. My point is, Ron Washington did coke, probably more than once (I obviously am just speculating on that point) but really, who cares? No one cared when Shawn Merriman tested positive for steroids. Is that because he's a football player and we, for whatever reason, hold baseball players to a higher standard? That is absurd.

We need to stop acting like a surprised child who happened to google "does santa claus exist" and start acting like rational adults. No one is perfect. Can people make mistakes and learn from them? Sure. Should we believe the childish excuse of "I only did it once?" No, we shouldn't.

I know ESPN and other sports networks need things to talk about, and I'm not against reporting these things, but we need to realize that our "heroes" aren't really heroes at all, and that baseball players/associates are just as flawed as players from any other sport.

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