SLAP ON THE WRIST OR PAT ON THE FANNY?
By John B Holway
Lets see: If Barry Bonds admits he took steroids, but he supports kids baseball, and he answers some powder-puff questions by Senator Mitchell, all will be forgiven. If Pete Rose does the same, Cooperstowns doors will open wide. If Commissioner Bud Selig finds out that Joe Jackson taught Sunday school and was a loving grandfather, he too will receive redemption.
Selig noted that Giambi had contributed to youth baseball. Thus, for $200,000 (tax-deductible), Giambi bought his way out of a suspension that could have cost him several million in lost salary.
Which Selig should we believe? The one who pointedly turned his back on Bonds record home run because Barry used steroids?? Or the one who, a few days later, publicly gave his blessing to Jason Giambi, who admitted doing the same thing?
Seligs love pat to Giambi and Giambis report of the friendly chat he had with Mitchell raise the question: Just how serious is baseballs investigation into itself and steroids?
The Mitchell investigation is a fraud. He can't talk to any current players except one, Giambi. And, according to Giambi, he didn't ask any significant questions. And because Giambi observed the code of silence and didn't rat on the other players and officials, he has been publicly embraced by Selig.
The statements by Selig and Giambi reinforce the suspicion that Giambi isn't the only one guilty. His managers, his owners, and his commissioner must all have been implicated with him. If any of them did not know what was going on, then he was not doing his job.
Are Joe Torre and George Steinbrenner exempt from the Mitchell probe? The Giants Dusty Baker? Tony La Russa of the Cards? San Diegos Bruce Bochy? If so, why? If not, have they been interrogated?
Mitchell owes it to us to declare that he is conducting an honest, hard-hitting probe and is not going to whitewash baseball and cover up the true depth and extent of the scandal.
If Mitchell should conclude that Giambi was guilty of using an illegal substance to influence the outcome of games as he says he was then baseball should expunge the two home runs he hit in the final game of the 2003 American League playoff, and the pennant should be awarded to Boston. If any Red Sox player should also be found guilty of using steroids, then the entire playoff, and probably the whole season, should be declared null and void.
And Rose, who was never charged with illegally influencing the outcome of any game, should be admitted to the Hall of Fame.
If I were Bonds, Id volunteer to talk to Mitchell in confidence, give him non-answers to softball questions, as Giambi apparently did, and receive Seligs pontifical absolution too.
Pretty soon thered be a long line of sinners waiting to go into the confessional, checkbooks in hand, to have their sins washed clean.