The Race for the Cure

Enhancements. Some women paid for them. It really did not happen amidst the poor. They had other things to worry about. Enhancement might attract the attention of a richer man. Time would tell of the depth of a relationship. Not many people really cared about those enhancements. Unless you were paying the plastic surgeon for the reconstruction. Or unless it was your daughter.

There are forces apparent on a generation schooled in the era of moral relativism. In business, in sports. Listen to the quotes on Manny Ramirez, posted on

Washington General Manager Manny Acta: “It is sad because this guy is going to get his name tainted forever.”

Oakland manager Bob Geren: “This is an unfortunate thing to happen, but the rules are very clear.”

Giants catcher Bengie Molina: “I’m not anybody to judge anybody. I’m not going to judge Manny.”

Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker: “Fifty is a long time. And that’s really going to hurt the Dodgers. And it is going to hurt his reputation. I just hate it that another star goes down.”

Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel, Ramirez’s former hitting coach in the Cleveland Indian organization: “I’m kind of sad about that. But I don’t know what to say about that. I’m sad. I saw him when he was in rookie ball.”

The cost of enhancements. The moral relativism.

I love Charlie Manuel. Even before today. Since he was a rookie in Minnesota. Since those days, he has seen the world. The poverty. He knows how poor a kid like Manny was. In either the Dominican or in the slums of New York. But Manny is now 37. He has made his millions.

The world should be sad and disappointed. Over what he is doing to his own body. And OUTRAGED over cheating. The baseball world should wake up to the meaning of what is going on, in a game that has become a living science experiment. It was like the world of spies and counter-spies. Who do you trust among these players? Any of them? And why am I watching this? Why am I watching these experiments in human growth hormones mingle with the natural athletes?

It was not just about enhancements. Not when the game was a competition. Not when the game was about the past and the future. That was the selfishness of either an uneducated group of users or this entire generation schooled in the era of moral relativism. These graduates asked not to be judged. Like the Giant catcher.

Speaking about a post on and the cost of enhancements, all this was going on as newspapers were dying. is paying a writer to travel with the team. In the case of the Dodgers, one of only two daily “beat” writers. Beat writers who used to follow a team from coast to coast, to bring you a sense of the heartbeat of the game, and the pulse of the players. In a day when there was, in my sense, a bit of heart disease in the game, based upon these quotes.

The day was coming soon when the game of baseball itself was gonna need a heart transplant. If anybody even cared, after watching this generation of players. But in the words of Sonny and Cher, “and the Beat Goes On.” The beat after the Mitchell Report. But without the “beat” writers who have not really been given access to this modern era of players. Without the “beat” writers who never really have brought the story of steroid use to the public over the last 15 years. And I sure did not expect beat writers to reveal the transparency of a team. There seemed to be a conflict of interest for what was once called publicists. With paying writers to cover a team, with Major League Baseball forming their own network with their own announcers, who expected criticism, much less transparency. These “beat” writers, the true critics, had been, in the era of agents, denied real access to the modern players anyway. And about the time that steroid use started. The day was here where the organic player was in need a special place just like grocers put old-fashioned organic food in the grocery stores, and maybe would charge us more. If that was possible.

From one generation to the next, baseball has provided a language to communicate that there was a sense of transcendence about life greater than I. Baseball communicated that there was a connection between me and others. My teammates. To all who played the game. Like a religion, baseball was a spiritual experience in a world where people felt closer in ritual. Baseball was all about the depth of a relationship.

Hall of Famer Juan Marichal: “I was wrong thinking he was a pure, natural hitter and that he would never use anything that would help a player do better. I am very sad to hear a player of his caliber could be involved in such a thing. I consider it cheating the game to have a positive test.”

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki: “Him being out 50 games is huge for the Dodgers lineup. It takes the best player in the division out for 50 games. That gives us a little window of opportunity so hopefully we can take advantage of it.”

Those honest windows of opportunity in a game with a lot of deceit: welcome to baseball in the 21st century. It was truth being stranger than science fiction. Why am I watching these experiments in human growth hormones mingle with the natural athletes? When I had never wasted my time on science fiction.

Even in the era of moral relativism, those 10 Commandments never changed. The tenets of the past remained for the present and the future, without enhancements. The failure amidst all of this was in the teaching the graciousness of the game, the “gentle” part of “gentlemen,” to the souls of the young. Whether players had come from the PAC 8 colleges or the barrios of Latin America, in an age of diversity there should be lifelong banishment for steroid use. The Barry Bondses, the Roger Clemenses, the Manny Ramirezes

David Howman, director of the World Anti-Doping Agency: “It is regrettable that the sport does not identify substances involved in positive cases. Baseball needs to be transparent.”

A lack of transparency was what had caused the collapse last September on Wall Street, which did not happen over night. Ah the politics of the game which also now had limited transparency. So this was what had been taught to those guys who majored in sports administration.

George Bush had been the managing general partner of the Texas Rangers about the time Bud Selig came to power in the current system. That current system under Selig with no distinction to the American League or the National League. The narrative of the story of baseball under Bud has been an acquiescence to the player’s association, a looking the other way, with a lack of regulation. From the commissioner, to the general manager, the managers, the umpires, everyone was making too much money and looking the other way while cheaters just kept on cheating. It sounded a lot like Wall Street. So why was I watching this? I would not compete myself again a cheater for recreation, after I did it all week on Wall Street.

I was a Juan Marichal fan growing up. Reading, he seems one of the few people who could connect the sense of transcendence about baseball, about what he did in his life, that was greater than himself. Someone should tell Dusty Baker, this was more than about the Dodgers, or Manny’s reputation. The waters of free agency had made all of the guys just Prussian soldiers, going through the motions.

“And the Beat Goes On.” In 50 more games. In the polluted waters of free agency. It was a new era of globalization. When that local newspaper was owned from far away. When local politics was decided by political contributions from Hollywood. Or maybe from China. It was the era when the players came from afar, when an owner in Los Angeles was a parking lot owner in Boston. When scattered stockholders throughout the world were interested only in bottom lines. And no one really cared about anything except money.

Those enhancement might attract attention for a while, of those of us with money to spend on tickets. Until we looked at what was underneath it all.

Time would tell of the depth of a relationship. Time would be the judge of the depth of love of the game of kids who grew up amidst all of this.

The Race for the Cure might be a new name for the entire decade of baseball, not that division competition in the National League West. Those enhancements following the last baseball strike had worked for a while. Until someone actually figured to look underneath it all. Now that we all knew what was under the current game, it was time to change this unending behavior.

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