January 29, 2013

#ARod, Jayson Stark, and an #ESPN shit-pile of hypocrisy

Jayson Stark/ESPN pic
If you're a baseball fan, unless you've been on a desert hermits' retreat, you've heard about New York Yankees injured former superstar third baseman Alex Rodriguez and his huge, newly-revealed, alleged mega-use of steroids, testosterone, HGH and more.

The scheme clearly rivals Barry Bonds and his alleged BALCO roiding and whatever program. We don't know as much about any "program" of Roger Clemens, but we have a good inkling of what he probably did.

I've been pretty consistent on how this whole era should be handled.

But not everybody.

We turn to, where else? ESPN.

Cue up the Jayson Stark hypocrisy alert.

This week, he wants to make roiders feel more pain. Or alleged roiders. Or possible ones. Or maybe ones:
Not one of those players (A-Rod, Nelson Cruz, Gio Gonzales) has ever tested positive for any PED. But that's irrelevant in a situation like this. The commissioner holds the power to suspend players without a positive test if there is firm evidence that they used, or even possessed, a banned substance. ...
So somewhere along the line, the price these men must pay for this crime has to grow large enough to force them to feel the pain. Two-month suspensions alone aren't enough. In-season blood tests aren't enough. Even public humiliation isn't enough.

And it won't be enough until the suspensions grow longer and the penalties grow stiffer -- because, clearly, the thought of losing 50 games worth of pay isn't scaring the people who need scaring.
Sounds like a great, tough, hardline stance, right?

Three weeks ago, he wanted to vote Bonds and Roger Clemens into the Hall of Fame.

On Bonds, he says:
There was only one Barry Bonds
So if you prefer to paint a picture of the baseball world that pretends the 1990s, and the first few seasons of this century, didn't happen, you can erase Bonds from that portrait and not vote for him.
Or you can say this man was convicted of a federal felony (obstruction of justice) directly related to PED use and not vote for him for that. 

Or you can say that no one of his generation was more responsible for obliterating the meaning of the history and the records that once made baseball special and not vote for him for that reason.

If you want to take any of those stances, I get it. But to me, the thought of having the ultimate baseball museum try to make us believe that a player this great was invisible is absurd. Absurd.
He's even more directly hypocritical with Clemens:
One of my distinguished fellow panelists, the great Frank Deford, suggested that day that it was the job of voters to keep any player who'd been proven to use PEDs out of the Hall of Fame. So let me ask you: Is Roger Clemens a "proven" user?

The Department of Justice couldn't "prove" that he used HGH, or that he committed perjury when he claimed he hadn't. Right? So you tell me: Is Clemens innocent or guilty?

Again, I understand the argument for both sides. But no one sums up how difficult it is to answer these questions better than the Rocket does. Guilty or innocent? Clean or dirty? Pick your own standard. Decide for yourself. There's no right answer. ...

C'mon, friends. We can't have a Hall of Fame without Roger Clemens in it. Can we? What kind of Hall of Fame is that?
Which is it, Jayson? Do we give them a pass because we can't prove anything, or through the book at them because we just suspect something?

And, no, this isn't apples and oranges. You said more than two-year suspensions are needed. Isn't that, in part, what a barring from the Hall of Fame is?

You know, it would NOT be hypocrisy if you said, "I blew it three weeks ago," or something similar.

But, hey, Jayson, it's called teh Internet. We got your old column right in front of us. If you don't apologize, if you don't admit you've done a 180 course reversal, it IS hypocrisy. A big, steaming shit-pile, just like I said.

Oh, I Tweeted Stark, too. No response. (And no surprise here.)

Here's my take on the breaking story. Shorter version — Yanks are stuck with him and MLB needs to do more about Hispanic/Latino use of PEDs in the Caribbean.

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