Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Let's just pretend nobody has played any baseball for the last twenty years

So I read some more Plaschke just to enjoy the stupid.  This article was written just after the Ryan Braun announcement.  Most of it is gloomy and boring complaining about how clean players are getting lumped in with the dirty and are getting punished like the people in Sodom who weren't... being bad. If only human beings had figured out a way to set up a perfect system of justice by now!  It's only been thousands of years!
The whole article isn't worth discussing, but the last two paragraphs have a noteworthy amount of stupid:

Kemp did have the right idea Tuesday when he said that he thought Braun's MVP award should be stripped. If the Heisman folks can take away Reggie Bush's trophy for a rules infraction that did not involve his performance, why can't baseball do the same for a player whose infraction was only about his performance?
Because baseball players have the most powerful union in sports and the owners can't just do whatever the heck they want to.  Also, the commissioner doesn't even award the trophy: the BBWAA does.  Good lord, you'd think that Bill would know that, given that he's a MEMBER (albeit non-voting, per Wikipedia).  
On the other hand, college athletes are not unionized and generally have the least amount of power of any athlete around.  In the case of college football the relative power of the players in their economic and legal world is tiny. I think that coaches, ADs and university administrators are actually allowed to poop on those athletes and they are required to enjoy it.
How can the nation's second-largest metropolitan paper employ a senior sportswriter who doesn't seem to realize this?
Heck, strip all the awards of all the juicers. Just don't give another one to anyone, lest you have to eventually strip it again. 
What a good plan.  Let's just pretend no baseball was even played after 1995.  La la la la it's all to hard to think about it so let's just call it all off.
You know, it's not pleasant, but the only way through this steroid foolishness is to investigate the investigable, punish the provable, and use our common-sense judgment for the rest. It's not as easy as it would be if we simply ignored it, or if we went on a mad witch-hunt against it... but it's really the only way forward.  Now that the baseball players' union is coming around to stricter punishments, we may indeed be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of PED stuff.  If the players themselves are on board with a cleaner game, change will happen.
No offense to my editors, but they should have structured the top of that chart to resemble a baseball clubhouse's credibility when it comes to drug cheats. They should have left it empty.
Bill is referencing a chart his editors made, which replaced award winners of known or strongly suspected cheaters with the 2nd place finishers.  We've heard it all before.  I like how he asks his editors for pardon for his bold suggestion.  Pretty lofty of Bill to be polite when he suggests something stupid.  
The worst part about these suggestions is that the writers implicitly don't think the fans are smart enough to consider the context of any numbers.  I'm kind of insulted.  Decent baseball fans have always been able to have sensible discussions about fluctuations in baseball statistics - any fan can look at the years 1930 and 1968 and evaluate a hitter's performance within the diametrically opposed offensive environments. Bill doesn't seem to think so. But trusting in the general wisdom of the public to judge wisely in the long run doesn't make for hits on his columns today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bill is a nitwit. I hate reading boneheaded sportswriters making ludicrous, poorly thought out fixes or solutions mainly to fill out column space.