Memo to Congress:
I see where you guys are calling Mark McGwire and Jose Canseco and Jason Giambi and Rafael Palmiero — but not Barry Bonds — up to the Hill for a little chit-chat — just you, them and every camera on the East Coast — about steroids and baseball.
And all I can say is, “Why now?”
The last time you hauled MLB commissioner Bud Selig and players chief Donald Fehr up to Capitol Hill to hold their feet to the congressional fire, there was good reason to do so. Baseball had no testing policy, testimony was leaking out of that Bay Area grand jury like oil out of an ’83 Yugo, and there were elections coming up.
And you all did a fine job. You made Fehr and Selig sweat like bratwursts on a tailgater’s grill. You left such an impression on those two fearless leaders of millionaires that they momentarily forgot they hated each other’s entrails and sat down to hammer out a semi-credible testing policy.
Now the testing has started. True, we’re in the “idiot test” stage, meaning the one you’d have to be dumber than a sitcom husband to flunk because they tell you months in advance when it’s coming. But baseball’s also promised to perform random tests year-round, and if players are still doing the ’roids, some are going to get caught.
Anyway, Giambi’s already on the leaked record as saying he stuck needles in his belly and buttocks to get bigger, stronger and richer. So is Bonds, although he claims that, although he never puts anything in his body without knowing exactly what it is, in the case of steroids, he made an exception and did what his trainer told him to do.
And what could Canseco tell you that he hasn’t already written in his silly book and repeated on a hundred talk shows?
Bonds would be interesting, although making him uncomfortable wouldn’t make us a better nation. But from what I read, you’re not sure you want him, because if he came, the hearings would turn into a circus.
As opposed to what, the midway on a county fair?
And that’s what this is. It’s not to correct any wrong or to force cheaters onto the straight and narrow. That was last year. This year, it’s just about getting face time and generating headlines and making the country forget how many issues you ignoring that are going to affect us and our children and our children’s children.
So go ahead and subpoena a bunch of jocks in and grill them under oath with the threat of jail hanging over their heads should they choose to lie about it. But if you’re going to drag citizens in off the street and ask them potentially embarrassing questions in the interest of the greater good of the republic, why stop with ballplayers?
Baseball's steroid scandal