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Truth and Reconciliation Committee? Really?

Jan 13, 2010, 11:22 AM EDT

This morning Dan Shaughnessy compared steroids to the Third Reich in the Sudetenland. Now Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Daily News compares them to Apartheid:

It is time for Major League Baseball to rent a ballroom, set up
television cameras, and invite all the players from the 1980s and ’90s
to tell their steroid stories. It is time for a Baseball Truth and Reconciliation Commission . . . Truth and Reconciliation. They must be linked. If that approach helped
a country as bitterly divided as South Africa move on from the horrors
of apartheid, it should do wonders for baseball’s recovery from an era
of steroid-tainted performance and record-breaking.

Look, guys. I know you’re all writers and that writers are supposed to use metaphors and stuff. But please stop. Stop, before someone references the Holocaust or the Rwandan Genocide or something and gets fired and paraded around on talk shows and things.  Get some freakin’ perspective.

  1. Field Greens - Jan 13, 2010 at 11:24 AM

    Too long, didn’t read

  2. Matthew Smith - Jan 13, 2010 at 11:48 AM

    Yeah, it’s a ridiculous comparison. But it’s also a good idea.

  3. Phil - Jan 13, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Exactly why is it a good idea? Because we need show trials for baseball? Because there hasn’t been enough muck to come out of the so-called Steroid Era to wallow in? Because despite you saying that it’s a ridiculous comparison that something about baseball players taking steroids to enhance their marketability (much like a starlet undergoes breast enlargement to enhance hers) is such a weighty topic that it requires a response akin to a national crisis? Exactly what more do you need to know to evaluate the last two decades of baseball?

  4. Carroll - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    “Writers gone wild” is one of the better tags I’ve seen, but “Scott Boras is a golden god” is still the reigning champion.

  5. Sarah Palin FOX NEWS - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    Obama should invite ALL ATLETES WHO USE STEROIDS to the
    NEW YORK WHERE Mayor Bloomberg will issue them clean needles.
    How wonderful!

  6. Phil - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    Hi Sarah,
    Looks like you can add spelling and grammar to the long list of things you don’t know.

  7. Charles Gates - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    Yes. Players will line up to take their turn on stage to admit to something no one has proof of them doing just to face the irrational scorn of writers like Shaughnessy and Sheridan. This will not only be a PR nightmare for them, but may hinder their chances of getting voted into the HOF, which will cost them a nice little sum of moolah. And they’ll do this for the good of baseball, because it should do wonders for baseball’s recovery from an era of steroid-tainted performance and record-breaking.
    Um, no. In fact something like this will continue to re-open MLB’s wounds. By my count, 5 articles in this blog had a steroids tag in the month of December. Now I can’t get away from this issue. You think a Truth and Reconciliation Commission will help baseball? By this one indicent, it seems more likely that it will only serve to make people point out what’s (or was) wrong with it.

  8. InnocentBystander - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    The Philadelphia Inquirer is my home paper (i.e. the one I get the paper version of). The one thing you need to learn about the Inquirer is never (NEVER I SAY!) read Phil Sheridan’s column. It is time off your life that you cannot get back.

  9. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    What the sport really needs is an Ad Hoc Committee (remember those, fellow veterans of The Revolution?) against Hyperbole in Sportswriting and Broadcasting or AHCAHSAB, which, if I’m not mistaken, was the Aztec name for Cortez and means “asshole” in Nahuatl. But I could be wrong. I was chewing a lot of peyote buttons back then, especially during the cocoa famine. And we all know how dangerous Perception Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) can be. Why, PEDs are like the late Cambrian die-off, only worse from a moralistic perspective.
    And to be honest, I agree with Craig. Comparing steroids to Auschwitz is like comparing Bud Selig’s election as commissioner of baseball to the Cretaceous-Tertiary meteor impact, only the latter simile has some metaphorical continuity to it, given how many forms of romance went extinct when it happened.

  10. Craig Calcaterra - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:51 PM

    That may be your best ever comment Gator. But then again, I’m partial to peyote.

  11. Ron - Jan 13, 2010 at 12:55 PM

    He really ought to travel to South Africa and see how well that worked for them.
    A public relations campaign doesn’t have anything to do with reality.

  12. bunbun - Jan 13, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    The few things baseball needs to do are this:
    Ban all steroid use.
    Drug test all current and former players 4, 5, 6, times a year.Random. No notice. Players recieve contact, proceed to a lab within 24 hrs, submit to test(s) If not -lifetime ban. No recourse.
    1st offense is a lifetime ban.End of game. Goodbye. Players have no recourse.
    Ban all steroid using players, liers, cheats, bonds, clemens, sosa, etc, you get the idea from the HOF
    Move forward. end of steroid era. Anything short of this will allow these punks to continue

  13. Moses Green - Jan 13, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    We are all richer for your fateful apprenticeship to that Yaqui shaman.

  14. JasonC23 - Jan 13, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Continue what?? Don’t leave us hanging like that, bunbun!!

  15. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 1:41 PM

    Did I ever tell you my story – true, I swear upon the Buddha’s compassion – of the time I took a bunch of Huichol Indian shamans, who perform ritual yarn paintings on peyote, to the NET radio station at Rockefeller Plaza for an interview session?
    I will only tell this story if I am begged to do so.

  16. Moses Green - Jan 13, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    As ever I humbly extend my bowl, Bodhisattva.
    And everyone please do pray to who or whatever you do and send money to Haiti. Thank you, Moses Green out.

  17. Charles Gates - Jan 13, 2010 at 2:29 PM

    And what shall we do with people like JC Romero? He bought an over the counter supplement, read the ingredients and checked to make sure they were not banned, none of which were. Then he took the supplements to team trainers just to make sure what he was about to take was ok. They said yes. So, he took the supplements and received a 50 game suspension because the manufacturer did not accurately list all of the ingredients, one of which was banned by MLB. Seems like he did all necessary due diligence…and you’d ban him for life?

  18. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 2:35 PM

    Any real Bodhisattva would have smashed your bowl to teach you a lesson about attachment to the material. Fortunately, I’m too western – that’s what reading Blood Meridian five times will do to you.
    Okay, true story.
    I was working for a theatrical and educational foundation run by a famous choreographer and her famous mythologist husband back in 1975 (read between the lines). Said famous mythologist, before his breakout series of interviews with a former Presidential press secretary on PBS, invited a famous new-agey anthropologist named Joan H. who had been studying peyote rituals in the mountains of Nayarit state in Mexico, to give a seminar at their foundation headquarters on the upper east side of NYC. She brought along an 80-year old Huichol shaman named Don Jose, who had one crippled hand and one stump, injuries he claimed to have sustained in a machete fight with a rival shaman but which his son-in-law, another of the shamans, informed me he got while dynamiting trout. So it goes. Anyway, this famous mythologist arranged through his pal the former presidential press secretary for an interview with Joan and her Huichol shaman/yarn painters at NET (eventually to become PBS), and I was designated to take them over there. We parked in the basement, took the elevator to the lobby (these were pre-security days; no way we get in there now), then switched to the “express” elevator that goes 25 floors or so nonstop. As the door is closing this suit, who looked a lot like the lawyer in Jurassic Park who got eaten by the T-rex while trying to take a crap without pulling down his pants, does one of those running springs into the elevator just as the door closes. He realizes, too late, that he has trapped himself in the elevator with (a) Don Jose, this little brown indian in his Huichol sarape, bangled sombrero and maqngled hands; (b) Emilio, Don Jose’s assistant, similarly dressed; (c) Joan, in a full length gold embroidered Moroccan djaleba and sandals, (d) a pile of very hallucinogenic looking yarn paintings, and (e) me, with my shoulder-length hair, beard, glazed expression albeit conservatively dressed in jeans, cowboy boots and a Jefferson Airplane Loves You t-shirt. He freaks, this suit, gives us a really ugly, sneering lookover and turns his back with a shudder. As we ascend, he occasionally looks back over his shoulder with the same sneering look to see if maybe he imagined it all, and winces when convinced that he hasn’t. We get to the 25th (or mayber it was 30th) floor and he bolts out of the elevator, turning only to sneer once again. The door closes and we continue upward. Don Jose shakes his head and laughs to himself, then says something to Joan in ranchero, a kind of old Castillian Spanish mixed with Nahuatl. Joan and Emilio laugh, and then we get out on whatever floor it was that NET was based on.
    As we leave the elevator, I take Emilio aside and ask him what Don Jose had said. Emilio replies, “He said not to worry about that guy because he’ll be dead in a week.”
    True story.

  19. otto - Jan 13, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    A standing “O” for this one!

  20. Moses Green - Jan 13, 2010 at 4:17 PM

    Even better than anticipated. The light within me honors the light within you.

  21. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 4:51 PM

    There is no light within either one of us. Get with the program unless you want to come around again.
    And if you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him. Nam-yo-ho-ren-gye-kyo, bubbeleh.

  22. Moses Green - Jan 13, 2010 at 4:59 PM

    Come around again, shuffle off for good, it’s all the same to me brother.

  23. Tony A - Jan 13, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    Geez, Gator, I love it when you enlighten us so, but I do have a bone to pick…I’ve checked the Cinemax schedule, forwards and back, and I’ve Googled and Binged my fingers to the bone, but I still can’t find this “Mmmm, Nasty Yoga Girls” show you keep talking about. What gives?

  24. Old Gator - Jan 13, 2010 at 7:12 PM

    Heh, miscommunication. The Namaste Yoga girls are on FitTV, one of the Discovery channels. In my market (Macondo) they’re on at 8:30 in the morning, which is when I stretch with them. Never mind what I stretch. FitTV isn’t Skinimax, though. You will have to use your imagination. For what it’s worth, I used to think it would become progressively more difficult to use my imagination as I got older, but just the opposite has been the case. That’s a good thing, considering what all else has gotten more difficult to use.

  25. willmose - Jan 13, 2010 at 9:40 PM

    When is MLB going to get serious about steriods and start nailing all steriods users to a cross. And a thank you to all the sportswriters, a special cheering section for y’ll to watch and each and every crucifixion. Of course, then let’s nail the sportswriters to a cross, head down, because it is only right and fitting to do it. Oh, bless you, holier than thou sportswriters for point out our transgressions, oh great keepers of all that is holy and moral, watch your step, that first step into hell is a long drop.

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