Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The steroids disaster in baseball continues. So now Alex Rodriguez has been ratted out and admitted to using "performance-enhancing drugs." I think that's an interesting term. I take Centrum vitamins...you could probably argue that they enhance my body's overall performance. That's one of the inherent problems with this whole witch hunt in MLB. The media has tried to label every player whose name becomes attached to any sort of substance as a steroid user. No one seems to care to make the distinction between someone like Andy Pettitte, who admitted using Human Growth Hormone to accelerate recovery from injury, or someone like Rick Ankiel who claimed he used HGH legally under a doctor's care, and other players who allegedly utilized illegal steroids throughout their careers in order to deliberately give themselves an unfair physical advantage. It also seems that some players' careers have been virtually destroyed by association with PED's, while others have gone inexplicably unscathed.

Another issue marring the entire situation is the blatant incompetence and self-serving nature of the officials involved in the sport. Donald Fehr, Gene Orza and mainly Bud Selig have placed an indelible black eye on the sport of baseball. How these men gained such power, fame and success is beyond the scope of any reasonably sane person's imagination. Then there is Senator George Mitchell, who was tabbed to lead the witch hunt of outing the allegedly guilty players. Not saying he is incompetent, but oh yeah, he was a member of the Boston Red Sox organization when these investigations took place. No conflict of interest there. Of course, you're talking about a sport who allowed a team owner to unofficially ascend to the office of Commissioner (yeah, you again, Selig). Nobody ever explained what qualified Mitchell to conduct these investigations. He's now a special envoy to the Middle East for President Obama. Um, what??

Finally, the biggest issue I have with the entire steroid controversy is that no one has ever been able to sufficiently outline what exactly the policies of MLB stated at the critical junctures in time. Was there anything in the sport's guidelines banning these substances at the times when various players are alleged to have taken them? Some say that certain substances were banned, but there were no punishments in place. The bottom line is: you can't blacklist players for doing something that was not outlawed by the sport during the period of use. Period. I'm not saying these guys are upstanding moral citizens or even nice people. But you can't just decide retroactively that what they were doing warrants being punished and ostracized. Bonds, McGwire, Palmeiro, Rodriguez, Clemens...all belong in the Hall of Fame. If they don't get elected, the history of the supposed "National Pasttime" will be forever tarnished.

The mail must go through...or not

So you've probably heard about the pending request by the U.S. Postal Service to cut Saturday delivery from their schedule in order to stop the financial bleeding they've been experiencing. According to reports, mail volume fell by 9 billion pieces in 2008 as compared to 2007. Those same reports are punctuated by the added reminder that the postage rates will again increase this May.

My suggestion is not to cut back a day on delivery, but to have everyone in the Federal government take an introductory-level course on Economics. There they will learn about this amazing new concept called "supply and demand." The price of a stamp continues to go up every year, while the demand for the USPS services continues to drop precipitously with the proliferation of e-mail, online greeting cards and online billing and banking. I propose we cut the rate back down to $.38 and see what happens. Pure genius.