The NFL has finished and America turns its eyes back to baseball. Sadly, another doping scandal threatens to become the story of the 2013 MLB season. After some investigative reporting by baseball writer Tim Elfrink of the well-known sporting newspaper the Miami New Times, several players are now alleged to have been taking PEDs over the past two or three years. What's that you say? Elfrink is not a member of the BBWAA and the Miami New Times is not a periodical related to sports? You mean to tell me there is yet another steroid incident ready to drag baseball's name through the mud and nobody in the BBWAA figured it out?! I find that hard to believe given how sanctimonious they have been in their recent Hall of Fame voting.
Actually, though, it looks like you are right. Yet again, baseball writers prove just how lazy they are, waiting for others to do the hard work and then jumping on the pulpit to denounce those who reportedly used. Instead of doing some useful work determining whether PEDs might still be a problem in baseball, they bragged about ignoring Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens on the Hall of Fame ballot.
I don't know if I can feel more contempt than I do for the voting members of the BBWAA who have decided to unilaterally enforce Cooperstown's character clause while doing nothing to demonstrate their own character. Here's a chance to actually do some journalism, determining if any of these charges are actually true. Will any of them take it? Probably not, with no press box buffet on which to gorge, the benefits of such work are severely limited. They'll just wait until 2030 and keep Gio Gonzalez out of the Hall of Fame instead.
On a related note, I am shocked to hear Gonzalez mentioned in this report. He has always been fan friendly and appeared to be squeaky clean, and having his name mentioned along with at least three others who have been busted is extremely disconcerting. The alleged dealer here is clearly untrustworthy, and I wonder if he has set everything up to gain fame? Probably not, but that is what will be investigated over the months to come and I hope that the BBWAA finally has a few members that recall being a journalist is not about self-righteous proclamations but about finding the truth.
A nice 5-week journey begins next week as I return to Tokyo for a few days. I'll check out a bj League game there featuring Tokyo's new team before flying to Dallas to begin a 2-week trip that includes five NBA contests and three college baseball games among 14 total events. Even the NBA All-Star Game is possible but with ticket prices outrageously high, that is looking less and less likely. Follow along here to see what happens!