Just Another Bonds?
Apparently, thanks to the unraveling Jason Grimsley debacle, the name of Albert Pujols is now being mentioned as yet another dirty cheat in baseball thanks to his connection to Chris Mihlfeld, currently being suspected as another Victor Conte. I suppose this should not be surprising considering Pujols was having, like, the best season ever. That and the fact that he was balding at 23. Or that he was recently injured. (Hey, I'm sorry, but the moment a guy who is physically massive and a great hitter gets hurt, I immediately think he's coming down off the juice. See Bonds, Nomar, Giambi, Sheffield, etc.)
Should the Pujols rumors prove true - and it should be vehemently pointed out that this has progressed no further than the dirty rumor stage and he is innocent until proven guilty - this would be a tremendous shot straight to the chin of baseball. I mean, if the best hitter in the game is cheating at precisely the same time that Bonds is being hounded and new drug testing is supposedly fixing the problem, it would be akin to your girlfriend not only cheating on you, but cheating on you with your best friend while you're in the next room.
But maybe that's not such a bad thing.
Listen, I like Pujols. He came into the league quietly, dominated, and has never once displayed himself to be anything other than a dude who goes about his business and kicks your ass while saying barely a word. He doesn't treat all us pesky "others" like irrelevent scum the way Barry Bonds does. He doesn't stand and stare at his home runs as if somewhere in the arc of each dinger lies the next clue to Life's big secret. He just kicks ass. No questions asked. I like that.
However, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't find a sick pleasure in all of this should Pujols' name surface officially. There are few things I find more humorous than Bud Selig looking like a conservative preacher who just found out his pristine teenage daughter has been impregnated by a thug. Selig and the rest of the boneheads running baseball stood back while the steroid issue grew from a spark into an inferno, and when it blew up in their clueless faces, then and only then did they present the facade of doing something about it, which, basically, has been a witchhunt surrounding Bonds.
So if Pujols, the current face of baseball, the guy currently capturing the imagination of all the Little Leaguers more than any other player, should be found to be a cheat, I will laugh heartily.
All I ask is that drug testing is strict. I understand that players don't want to be treated like childrem, but hey, they've proven to act like children who refuse to follow rules, so if that means they have to piss in a cup every day as they arrive in the clubhouse, so be it. It's amazing that steroids have dominated the landscape of baseball for the past several years more than anything that's taken place on the field, and that guys have been dragged before Congress and their legacies ruined forever, and still there are guys cheating. So how strict can the testing be? How much of a deterrent is it really?
Look, maybe I'm beaing a pure reactionist, but I can't help the feeling Pujols was juicing when he caught wind of something going down (i.e, the Grimsley mess) so he stopped and that's why he was hurt recently and ultimately placed on the DL.
Maybe I'm way off base here and completely wrong, but am I crazy for at least thinking this? Sadly, in this day and age, I'm not. And neither are you if you've been thinking the same thing.
Like I said, if Pujols was juicing and has recently stopped (again, this is pure speculation) and was only convinced to clean up when his connections to Mihlfeld looked to be troublesome, then why was he so willing to cheat in the first place if baseball's new drug testing is adequate?
Because it's not?
If Pujols goes down, I say blow it all up. Blow the whole thing up. It's beyond the point of simply making repairs. Make anything short of a common daily vitamin illegal and test these guys every day if need be.
Hell, at this point, I'd be satisfied if MLB just made performance enhancers legal and washed their hands of this whole mess. At least we could watch the game of baseball without constantly asking, "Do you think he is?" and constantly being hit with the latest dirty rumors. Either make it all legal or make testing so strict that it would be damn near impossible to cheat. Either way. I don't care anymore. I'm sick of it.
It's sad that it's come to this, but in the words of Radiohead...
You do it to yourself, you do
And that's what really hurts
Is that you do it to yourself
Just you and no-one else
You do it to yourself
You do it to yourself