Thursday, December 13, 2007

Baseball's bombshell — close to home?

Villainry most vile!

It's the sound of the Mitchell Steroids in Baseball Report hitting the airwaves, naming baseball players who've taken banned substances to boost their performance on the field. But the reaction, so far, has been pretty lame.

First, anyone who didn't think tiny Marvin Bernard (formerly of your San Francisco Giants), let alone Mark McGuire or Roger Clemens, wasn't on juice wasn't paying attention. So the righteous indignation should be directed to the image in the mirror — that's where the tacit support came from. And yes, I cheered on Barry Bonds just like every other guy who bleeds Orange and Black.

Secondly, who can blame these guys for trying to gain an edge when there was no testing in Major League Baseball? Belive me, if there were some sort of substance I could take to improve my job performance, I'd be sorely tempted. *takes long sip of coffee*

No, this report should only be troubling because it shows just how prevalent abuse of hormones and drugs is in sports. And you can be sure it's trickled down. Even to high school.

In any community where prep sports are big, you'll find rumors, hints, suggestions about who's taking what to be bigger, faster, stronger. Just like the pros, because the competitive spirit is the same.

We need to look at our own athletes, coaches and sports programs to see if any of the problems that MLB turned a blind eye to are also getting a free pass right here at home. Not to condemn the kids. Not to turn them into miniature scapegoats like Bonds. But to help them.

We will hopefully find that none of that is going on in Tracy, because the stories of young men and women sharpening their minds and bodies through dedication and hard work deserve to be recognized as such. But that self-examination is necessary.

We need to take the next step. And that step is focusing the spotlight on ourselves and our community.

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