Sunday, December 16, 2007

Baseball Players Never Grew Up

I recently stumbled upon this blog post by a guy named Jeff Horrigan. In it, he mentions that former Reds catcher Joe Oliver (a classic name from dan-bob's youth and the catcher of the last world champion Reds team) is feeling disgruntled. Here's what Joe said:

What would happen if someone like me decide to have an attorney bring a lawsuit against MLB because the owners and GM’s knew about players juicing and did nothing about it. That would have created an unlevel playing field for players like me to compete. I had to vie for a job every year and now I know it had something to do with certain players having a competitive edge on me.

I don't think the lawsuit would hold a lot of water. But what confuses me is that Joe alleges that the owners and GMs knew about it, but that he didn't. This brings me to the larger point: sure, you got screwed, Joe... but as much as the owners and GMs tolerated it, so did the culture of the players tolerate it. Baseball players are some of the most immature athletes; a lot of them never even started college. Their player culture is famously closed (see the story of Jim Bouton's Ball Four). One wonders how many scores of clean players like Joe were aware of the level of abuse, but never said a word. Got to toe the line. Don't break the code.

“I spent all that time in the early hours running and lifting weights, these guys would shoot up and be done and get stronger, faster, and the owners knew who they were and the GM’s knew who they were. Every time I argued for a contract, I was competing with juiced catchers in the same boat looking for a job. They got the higher paying jobs and I got screwed.

Yep. You got screwed, Joe. You did get screwed, but just as much by your own players' culture as the management's willful ignorance. At least now you're not on the list, Joe. The players won't suffer repercussions due to the strength of the players' union [see how successful the game is? gotta feed the beast -ahem, the players]. It's hard for anyone to check the arrogance and collective power of a group of young men who, while making millions for themselves, also generate millions for the owners and for their cities.

The losers, as usual, are the fans and the Joe Olivers of the world. With apologies to Green Day and the Leo Durocher, "Nice Guys Who Didn't Take Steroids Finish Last in Contract Negotiations".


6 comments:

Andy said...

So here's a (somewhat outlandish) proposal. Shoeless Joe Jackson is banned from baseball because he knew of the integrity of the game being compromised yet said nothing (Black Sox scandal). Why does baseball uphold such a precedent and ban every player, owner, manager, GM, etc. etc. from baseball since the start of the "steroid era" who knew of juicers but said nothing? The sport would probably implode. It might be easier to just let Jackson into the hall of fame...

Andy said...

Dammit...I hate typos. That should be "why doesn't baseball uphold..."

larry b said...

I think everyone who knew how ugly John Lackey was before he got into the league, and failed to do anything to stop that from happening, should also be blacklisted.

pnoles said...

Ditto with Ezequiel Astacio, that guy who gave up that home run to Geoff Blum in the 2005 World Series....it looked like he had shit growing in his face.

Chris W said...

-1 point for letting Ken Tremendous beat you to making a Bill Doran reference

Anonymous said...

well this post will be about as welcome as a snow storm in miami, but I would like to really get to a point about the title. My beautiful 21 year old daughter has had dealings and one (short) relationship with college baseball players. And it has been weird. The one she dated ( briefly) has almost no friends other than his old team mates- goes to "sausage fests" exclusively, he did get her a lovely diamond necklace for Christmas, but declined to spend that day with her or the day before or the day after. He would get fully dressed after sex before he got back into bed for the night. This 180 lummox said it was because he was "cold" but my 105 pound daughter was just fine being nude. He stood he up all the time until she dumped his lame behind. AND we know two other baseball dudes who are just like him! I hate to stereotype people but guys- what is the deal!