Tuesday, May 12, 2009

22 comments Kurt Streeter Is Outraged That People Aren't Outraged

I personally believe steroids is cheating. I personally believe those people that take steroids should be punished to the fullest extent that MLB decides these offenders should be punished. I would also have no problem with a note of some type being put in the record books to signify which players were caught cheating using steroids while they were playing baseball or a note if it was found out after that player was retired he used steroids. I believe Hank Aaron is the all-time homerun champion and that Barry Bonds would have been a first ballot Hall of Fame player without steroids, which makes me kind of sad. Same thing with Alex Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez. I also am incredibly tired of talking about steroids and finding out which players have used them, and I think my feelings are representative of many other people's feelings.

Everytime another player is suspended for using steroids it's like just another brick in the wall. No one is surprised or outraged because at this point we just assume everyone, excluding Adam Everett, are on steroids. There's nothing to be angry about. If you think your favorite team is going to lose a game or you expect someone to lie to you, you don't get surprised or outraged because the outcome met your expectations. I think this is true for a lot of people...Kurt Streeter being the exception. This article was on either the Big Lead or Deadspin yesterday but I felt like covering it as well.

Am I out of touch? Am I too angry, too outraged about Manny Ramirez and his dope-induced exile to baseball purgatory?

No, you are exceptionally late to the outrage party. That party ended several years ago when the arguably greatest pitcher of this era and arguably the greatest hitter of this era were both caught having used steroids. Then the party got jumping again when arguably the second best hitter of this generation got caught having used steroids, but now everyone is very hungover and just wants to eat some Bojangles and sleep all day. No one is in the mood to be outraged anymore. To be outraged at this point is to be naive. Because to be outraged means you didn't expect it to happen.

Striking how many are willing to treat their favorite player as if he's just gone off on a nice holiday. All will be forgiven, as long as No. 99 comes back swinging a fat bat.

Baseball is a results oriented sport, if Manny comes back and starts showing good results again the fans will be happy...especially if he is not on steroids. Remember, his use of steroids actually benefits the fan in a way, because it makes the Dodgers a better team. It is also cheating and everyone wants a clean game so that is something fans have to balance. It has come to many baseball fan's attention that we do not have and will not have a clean game any time soon, so rather than hold up signs saying "cheater," we just cheer for our favorite teams and hope they win.

"Hey, he cheated, everyone has their crutch, it's not that big a deal," said Mike Calame, 45, sitting near the left-field foul pole at Dodgers Stadium the other day. He shrugged a shrug I'd end up seeing time and again.

Using steroids to gain an advantage is very clearly cheating but what does Kurt Streeter want everyone to do? Quit watching baseball because it is tainted? Never cheer for the players who tested positive and hope they fail? We are a forgiving society and those people who take their punishment without making a lot of noise get a lot of good will from the public and will be forgiven quickly. Manny did this.

So, sitting here in the press box during the Dodgers' Saturday win against the Giants, the question comes. Am I, along with the other journalists who are breathing fire about this sordid story, simply out of touch with a huge slice of our audience, the who-cares-who-takes-what crowd?

I would not say he is out of touch with a huge slice of the audience, I would say by acting outraged and writing columns talking about what a massive cheater Manny Ramirez is, Kurt Streeter is overestimating how shocked his audience is after every revelation. At this point it would not shock me if any player in MLB is found to have used steroids. There is only so much outrage the fans can muster before they have to accept they enjoy a flawed game.

Baseball is entertainment. The fans aren't naive enough to believe those who entertain us don't cheat just a little bit in the process of entertaining. Baseball fans want the game to be clean, but have accepted the fact it is not. Those who get caught get punished, which is the best we as fans can hope for.

You bet I'm out of touch, and that's the very reason it's important everyone in the media keep laying the wood to the rule-breakers and ne'er-do-wells.

I like how he portrays the media as the white knight who rides in to make sure the game is fair and no one is cheating and blames the fans for being apathetic. Which group of people had better access to know and suspect the steroid problem in baseball? The everyday fan who watched on television and in the ballparks or the columnists who saw the players everyday in the locker room, saw them around in just towels, and heard the rumors?

The fans are the victim of the steroid use in baseball and the media kept its head in the sand just long enough to fein ignorance. I'm not buying it. Don't chastise the fans for not caring about steroids in baseball and try to be the one who is above the fray. The media didn't care and ignored the problem long before the fans had the chance to.

Someone has to draw the line. Someone has to keep hold of standards.

Yes, and that is the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig. He's another guy who stuck his head in the sand. Kurt Streeter? Well he is just complaining about the problem and trying to be morally outraged that the fans don't seem to care about the problem. The fans did care about the problem until they saw the Steroid Era was a massive cover up by the media and baseball management who did not report on the things they saw, by the players actually doing the cheating, and by MLB and the Union who had no steroid testing in place. Every single group here is culpable and just because you, Kurt Streeter, decides the line needs to be drawn now doesn't mean anything. If you were the one drawing the line and holding up standards ten years ago then the fans may be able to join you, but right now, we just want to watch baseball on television and in ballparks.

It's when we lose track of this, when we as a society are willing to cut too much slack, when we in the press stop drawing a hard line, that deep trouble comes.

The Steroid Era is ending. Players are being tested and those that continue to use are being suspended. If you want to draw the line, find a time machine and start writing articles like this circa 1997.

Who cares what Ramirez or Barry Bonds or A-Rod put in their bodies? So long as my team is on top, so long as I get to drive around with a "World Champs" bumper sticker, it doesn't really matter.

I like how the media simplifies the thoughts of the fans so well. It is partially true the fans just want their teams to win, but they also want a clean game that doesn't have steroid users in it. It's really much deeper than that though. If the culture of baseball didn't care about finding out who used steroids and who did not a few years ago, why should the fan care now that those same people who used steroids are being outed?

Fans want baseball, not to hear more stories of athletes lying, deceiving and sticking hyperdermic needles in their ass.

My wife teaches third grade at a school a mile from Dodger Stadium. Is this what she should tell her kids, a group that has adored Ramirez since he arrived in town? "Kids, it doesn't matter if you cheat."

He did cheat and now he has been punished. Was the punishment severe enough? MLB seems to think so. Instead of Kurt's wife saying it doesn't matter if you cheat, she should say, "If you cheat, then you will get caught and punished."

If cheating were in the open, if it stared us in the face, if a select group operated with different rules right there in front of us, maybe we'd wise up.

I completely don't understand what everyone is supposed to do. There are zero options or solutions being presented by Kurt Streeter here in this column.

There was a select group operating with different rules right in front of the locker room media and baseball management for years and they did not wise up. Why should anyone expect the fans to get outraged now? Again, I don't speak for everyone, but I would think we are all very tired of steroids and just want the offenders to be punished so baseball can go on.

How would you feel about Tiger Woods if you saw him take a mulligan every time he sprayed a drive? How'd you like it if, when the Cavaliers played the Lakers, they started six players and L.A. started five?

That is kind of different than steroid usage. Steroid usage is cheating by enhancing your performance, while those two examples are completely changing the rules of the sport to give one person or team an advantage.

Even worse, the cheats are sending the ugliest possible message about living healthily, especially to the kids who deify them.

I know I have written this 100 times so far today but now that offenders are being punished why is the fan supposed to be outraged? No one gave a shit about the kids in the late 1990's and early 2000's, and now that the offenders actually have a punishment handed down to them it seems like it should suffice. I don't know what else should be done, other than walk around angry all the time about it and chastise the offenders every time they are at bat...which I am sure A-Rod and Manny are going to actually get a lot of during road games.

"I'm afraid people don't really understand how horrific this stuff is, they don't know what it does, they don't know that it can kill you," said Dr. Anthony Butch, director of the UCLA Olympic Analytic Laboratory.

Smoking, drinking, driving an automobile at any point, flying in an airplane, eating unhealthy, and getting the flu can also kill you. I would guess more Americans do those things every year than those that use steroids. Steroids is a problem, there's no doubt about it, but I am personally more concerned about my children smoking at a young age and driving a car than shooting up steroids in their room.

Steroids are a drug and there are side effects and horrible things that can happen when any drug is taken.

"What kind of message is this sending?" he asked after I'd told him how many people didn't really care. "You know what I'd like to see? I'd like to see the fans stay away. . . . We can't send the message that cheating is OK."

The fans do care and they are tired of their heroes cheating. The fans of MLB are not apathetic people, quite the opposite, they really care about the game. Unfortunately many fans are responding with little caring at each new steroid user revelation because that is how baseball responded to the problem. Let's be clear, the fans aren't the problem and did not create the problem. If baseball wanted steroids gone, they could have taken steps to have done it a long time ago and they didn't.

Yes, eventually we should forgive him; everyone deserves a second act. But we should also regard Ramirez as tarnished, deeply so, now and for good.

Manny is tarnished and part of the reason Streeter got a lot of indifference from the fans is because he talked to Dodgers fans who want Ramirez back to help the team. If he asked fans of another team they would give Ramirez hell for using. That's how it is.

A sign we need more who are angry and indignant and offended. Count me in this last group. It's my job.

Actually you're job was to tell the public many years ago about this problem and that didn't happen. The fans were angry and offended, but just want to be able to enjoy a clean game of baseball but also expect nearly every star player to be caught using steroids at this point.

I want everyone to know I actually laughed at Bill's Twitter post about Mark Cuban not having to apologize to Kenyon Martin's mom because he has a tattoo of a woman's lips on his neck. I thought it was kind of funny.

Now we have Peter's MMQB-Tuesday Edition up, and yet again, my question did not get posted. I will not give up though.

From Cliff Prince of Midlothian, Va.: "Everyone always points to the strength of schedule when predicting how a team will do, but with the parity in the NFL and the changing year-to-year of the strength of these teams, it seems a poor indicator of things to come. That rough schedule the Steelers had last year ended up 133-120. Given the state of the NFL, I think its better to assume that the schedule will be slightly to the inverse of the previous year's strength. Your thoughts?

Come on. Peter has no real thoughts. Just things he thinks he thinks.

But let me ask you this: Right now, at this point in May, would you rather have a schedule that LOOKED the way Pittsburgh's looked last year (with New England, the Giants and Indianapolis), or would you rather have the schedule Pittsburgh has for 2009 (with Detroit, Kansas City and Oakland)? You never know how the situation is going to play out with the schedule, but looking at it now, you know the Pittsburgh slate this year looks a lot easier than a year ago.

So Cliff had a point, but Peter would rather ignore that valid point and just go back to how the schedule looked rather than admit that a team's strength of schedule at the beginning of the year sometimes is a lot easier or harder than the team's strength of schedule at the end of the year. It can change drastically. Don't bother him with your facts, just look at the schedule and make guesses about which schedule looks harder.

And there's no reason, just because Josh McDaniels didn't tell Cutler categorically that he would never be traded, that Cutler should stage a wildcat strike from the team with three years left on an existing contract.

But for those that have forgotten, Peter thinks it is perfectly fine for a quarterback to stage a wildcat strike and demand a trade to specific teams when that player has previously retired with years left on his contract even though the head coach and GM didn't tell that player categorically he would get the starting QB job.

But let's not kill Cutler because the Denver defense gave up 30, 30 and 52 points, respectively, in the last three games last year.

One of those 30 point games was against Carolina who Peter ranked 18th in his power rankings. (Sorry, I am still miffed and I don't even really care, imagine if I actually respected Peter's opinion.)

Not really a slam of Buffett. Just a point that it's pretty desperate when you tie your marketing fate to him. Just thought it was odd, and I will be surprised if it sells many tickets.

Yeah, it makes much sense to tie your Super Bowl halftime marketing fate to Bruce Springsteen playing halftime for twelve minutes. The Dolphins-Buffett may not sell tickets but we are talking about it aren't we?

From Phil of Bear Creek, Vt.: "I fully agree with you that the Buffett deal is weird. I think its weird as hell, and makes me wonder about the business acumen of some of these "professional" football men. But, with that said, I don't think you fully understand Buffett's popularity. Saying he hasn't had a hit since 1977 is like saying the Grateful Dead weren't popular because they rarely made the Billboard top 10. Buffett has a HUGE following. Again, agree with your point 100%....but don't diss Buffett.''

Does Peter only listen to top 40 radio? If so, he must think Lady Gaga is a legend.

Nestor Aparicio of WNST radio in Baltimore, who basically rewrote Buffet's Wikipedia page and concluded: "Honestly, I think it's a great relationship and smart branding on both sides. But again, nothing can make the Dolphins institutionally "sold out" in a fickle South Florida market that has always eschewed "Northeast-style" passion for the NFL. Or even Midwestern passion. Too much sunshine there, too many pretty girls, too many options.''

Yep, it probably is hard to sell tickets down there. Whatever can work they go for I guess.

Next week we need to get published in the MMQB-Tuesday Edition. I don't know exactly why, but it is my mission now. He has to answer my Aaron Curry question at some point.


AJ said...

Well I think we forget sometimes we are asking King a question...we have to realize that the topic is Curry and not Farve/Matt/Brady/NE Teams...he probably doesn't even know who Curry is anymore.

Isiah Thomson (Thomas) was on Patricks show today...what a complete weirdo that nut is. I don't even know how to descibe how weird the whole interview was.

It's so funny that a media member is calling out people for not being more outraged about steroids when it was partly the medias fault that these guys got away with so much of it in the past. I love how pissed off the owners get too, and other players. All you hear is them complaining about how its messing the game up for the clean players...

News flash, you so called "clean" players screwed yourselves. You had the chance to out people when you saw them doing it, but chose to keep a secret "locker room code" intact.

Bengoodfella said...

That's a good point. I would not even know what question to ask him. Maybe I will sign up for Twitter and just Tweet him to death about Curry until I get an answer. Ok, I am not going to do that.

I would like to hear what Isiah Thomas has to say about his new job at Florida International. He has gone from one of the best point guards ever into one of the worst businessmen and one of the weirdest people currently alive. I still don't get that 911 call from a year or two ago when he said his daughter had OD'd or something like that. Just bizarre.

That's my whole point as well. I don't why the fans need to be so outraged when really we were the absolute last ones to know about the situation. We don't cover the players every day, we don't see them and talk to them, and we had no knowledge of what was going on. I feel like everyone involved is expected to have this "code of silence" where they don't talk about the steroid problem, but once it is made public the fans are supposed to be outraged. Well, were outraged and now we are used to it. Why are we supposed to be so angry when the players, writers, and management of the teams weren't angry? Everyone had a chance to get angry and do something but they blew it.

In the words of DeNiro in Copland, (this is how I feel when a columnist writes an article about the fans being apathetic) "I offered you a chance when we could have done something...and you blew it! You blew it." They blew it, they had the chance and now they expect the fans to act outraged, but we aren't outraged because it is old news to us.

Chipper Jones has come out and called out every steroid offender so far. I am just waiting for him to get busted.

Anonymous said...

I think the best way to sum up the baseball fan's opinion right now is:

"I don't want anyone in baseball cheating, but if a team is going to benefit from cheating, I would rather it be my team than their opponent"

Fred Trigger said...

You should definately sign up for Twitter and bug PK. That would be awesome. I can see it now.

@bengoodfella: I am sorry but I cannot answer your question because it is too logical and completely blows my points out of the water. Love, PK.

(sent from Brett Farves iphone)

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I would prefer there be no cheating in MLB, but if there is I would like for my favorite team to be the cheater instead of the cheatee. They don't give do-overs for games lost to a bunch of steroid users. Of course, I would really prefer no one cheat, but that's not happening.

He probably wouldn't even mention me by my Twitter name, he would just say, "Point taken. I disagree obviously." Then I would get frustrated and write about it here.

Anonymous said...

a commenter on ksk yesterday wrot that buffet owns landshark beer. landshark just bought the naming rights for the dolphins stadium. a tiny bit of research would have surely revealed this.

Bengoodfella said...

I heard about that and I have actually had Landshark Beer and it is not that bad. I thought that was kind of understood that there was a connection there, I guess Peter didn't know that.

See, I think it is more bizarre to have a stadium called Land Shark Stadium than to have Jimmy Buffett performing there. It is only for a year though, so it is not like a 20 year deal or anything.

Chris W said...

Am I the only one who doesn't want cheaters on my team?

I mean, I'm not all sanctimonious about it. I really don't give a shit about Manny cheating, as long as he's punished. But even though they don't give out do-overs for suspected cheaters, if I found out that, say, Jermaine Dye was on steroids in 2005, I would find it pretty hard to enjoy the White Sox's world series title.

I mean...to the point where I almost wouldn't care that they won it anymore.

Bengoodfella said...

No, you are not the only person who doesn't want cheaters on his team. I would be devastated if Chipper was on steroids at some point. I guess my point was that Kurt Streeter was blaming the fans for not being angry but I feel like we have come to expect that all the great hitters were using.

It's almost like I personally am numb to it. I don't want any of my favorite players on steroids but the mere fact I am not 100% confident they weren't does, and should bother me. Basically what I am saying is that I don't want anyone on the Braves to get caught, but I also understand it could happen and have almost accepted it probably will. It may just be how I feel personally.

I try to ignore the fact half of the OL for the 2003 Panthers were probably on steroids or else it would ruin it all for me.

I am not sure I am explaining myself well. I refuse to accept that steroids have to be a part of the game of baseball, but I also refuse to naive enough to get outraged every time a new slugger is found to use them.

In response to where I said I would rather my team being the cheater rather than the cheatee, that was really more tongue in cheek. I don't know if it would suck more to get beaten for the division title by a team with a couple steroid users on it or have my team later be found out to have players on steroids. I really don't know, but I do know I would not enjoy any title my team won and it would feel tainted. I just don't feel outrage anymore because I expect it to happen. I hope I made myself clearer.

Chris W said...

I think we're on the same page. It would be stupid for me to assume that no one on the 2005 White Sox used steroids.

However, until it comes out that one of them did, I'm going to be glad that it hasn't come out that they did.

To hell with outrage. I'm not outraged over any of this. I haven't been outraged since the 1998 home run. It was obvious to me that Sosa and probably McGwire (my how the public opinion has reversed on that one!) were both on steroids, but no one in the media was saying a goddamned thing. Wouldn't even ask the question.

That went on for about 5 more years and I was outraged, annoyed, and totally turned off the game in general. By the time Game of Shadows came out it was like "who fucking cares. It's been this way for ten fucking years"

Fred Trigger said...

ooooooo, i was about to bludgeon you over the head with the panthers O-line. Nice save.

You can go back to the early 90's and find at least one user for ever major sports team. yeah, it sucks, but it was the "loosey goosey" era. What do you expect?

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I have ceased to be outraged as well at this point. I would not be surprised if it came out that several of the 1995 Braves were on steroids, Justice already had his name out there. That would piss me off a lot. That's what struck me as so hypocritical of Streeter's article and that is he expected the fans to be so angry over this when the media helped cover it up for nearly a decade. That are quite culpable for the situation as well, so I don't need him leading the boos against steroid use.

Fred, I am glad you did not hit me with that, I just try to forget that fact about the Panthers O-line. Now football would be an interesting sport to talk steroids about. I am sure it is all over the place.

Right now I don't know whether to be outraged at the fact that Mike Gonzalez insists on throwing 0-2 breaking pitches that get hit when no one can hit the fastball, that an umpire who is responsible for a little white square at 3B can't seem to make a correct call, or that Garrett Anderson actually still plays LF. He looks like he just can't wait to get the game over with and get back to the dugout. I don't think he could throw a fucking guy on crutches out at home plate or would even care to try. He looks bored in LF. I wish the Braves had spent that $3 million they paid him and put a giant sack of shit in LF, or tried to coax Ron Gant out of retirement with it. I really think anyone on earth could do a better job at this point. Ok, I feel better now.

Martin said...

The other reason I think that people are no longer outraged by the cheating accusations is that they have come to realize that baseball, and sports, aren't any different then everyday work/life now. My company has routinely been fined or reached settlements with state and federal government agencies for fraud, unfair labor practices, failure to dispose of medical records properly, and in every single case the company denies wrong doing. Of course it never actually goes to court for any of these things, but when it settles lawsuit over lawsuit for millions of dollars, two things become pretty clear. 1- That they are guilty, because major corporations don't just hand out 8 1/2, 37, and 2 1/4 million dollars when it knows it's not guilty. 2- It must have made a boat load of money by cheating, because it keeps doing it. Average fan just figures by this point, cheating is everywhere, so set up rules to stop it, but nobody has the energy to be outraged when you catch the occasional cheater. they are too busy spending it on all the other more important cheats going on in their lives.

AJ said...

Well where exactly would being outraged get us fans? Would it shut down the game? Would it get players to stop using? Would it get more testing? What would it do??

It wouldn't do anything. Even if we started not showing up to games all they would do is raise the prices for everything to make up for it. People should be more outraged about the pricing of food in stadiums then players using steroids at this point.

As long as they get caught and are tarnished forever, thats all we can ask for at this point.

The Casey said...

BGF - You didn't see Garrett force out Cora at second last night? That was actually a decent play. I haven't really been watching the Braves this year, but now that the Hawks are out of the playoffs I've got 4-6 hours of "cursing Josh Smith" time a week that are going to be free.

Also, don't forget the Sheffield played for the Braves back when he and Bonds were still pretty chummy. And I hate to bring this up, because he's my all-time favorite Brave and all, but Ron Gant got pretty big pretty fast in the early '90's.

word: mychin

Bengoodfella said...

Martin, that's a good point about companies in that they would not do all of that stuff if the cost of paying the settlements still was smaller than how much they save by cutting corners or whatever else they do. Of course I don't condone that behavior but that is life. Sports are another part of life and there are going to be cheaters everywhere. I wish MLB would possibly raise the penalty for those caught using steroids or something to that effect, though 50 games is fairly severe, maybe they should raise it.

AJ, I have no clue what being outraged is going to do. If players are not deterred by a 50 game suspension, I really doubt no one coming to the ballpark and fans booing him is going to affect his ability to play. Granted, if all the fans got together and decided to boycott the games this would have an effect, mostly to raise prices at the stadium. It is hard to get outraged at cheaters when it is more outrageous to pay $20 to park on a piece of concrete and then drop $4 for a fucking soft pretzel so you can enjoy the game.

I must have missed Anderson forcing out Cora but it still doesn't change my opinion of the guy. He looks bored out there and I know the runner on first would have advanced to second on a throw home but Castillo's fly ball wasn't hit that deep, it would have been nice if he had the will or even an arm good enough to try and throw the runner out. I am biased because I never liked the signing in the first place, simply because he is old and I really thought there were better options in the organization and in free agency. Maybe he will prove me wrong eventually...as soon as he wakes up from his naps during the game.

Bengoodfella said...

I have a list of players that played for the Braves and I believe used steroids. Marcus Giles, Gary Sheffield, and I am not sure about Ron Gant. I know John Schuerholz said he knew about a player who used steroids or was suspected of it that played for the Braves, but of course he didn't name him.

The Casey said...

Rocker wouldn't surprise me either. Or Galarraga.

Bengoodfella said...

Not the Big Cat! Ok, that is possible, but no one will suspect him because he smiled a lot.

Chris W said...

Also he struck out a lot. I think it's clear that anyone with more than 1800 k's is on steroids:

Reggie Jackson? (Roids)
Sammy Sosa? (Maybe Roids)
Jim Thome? (Super Hero Juice)
Andres Gallaraga? (Roids)
Jose Canseco? (Truth Serum)
Willie Stargell? (Sister Sledge Roids)
Mike Schmidt? (Are you kidding me? Look at that stache! Roids)
Fred McGriff? (Generic Roids)
Tony Perez? (Cat Growth Hormones)
Dave Kingman? (King Kong)

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I don't know if you are being sarcastic or not with that list. I'm pretty sure you are being sarcastic. I think the reason Galarraga was named is because he came back from cancer and hit homeruns like crazy, not to mention he played until he was older after getting cancer and was productive. I would not suspect him necessarily but I don't know if Coors Field inflated his numbers or what.

Really, we don't know if Galarraga cheated or was just a great hitter. That's the sad part for me.

Chris W said...

The only one I was serious about was Mike Schmidt

WV: subbeet