No tears shed for baseball#8217;s sad day

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 29, 2007

I didn’t know whether to buy a box of tissues or dig a handkerchief out of my pocket. I figured I needed something to wipe the tears from my eyes since Friday was such a sad day for baseball.

The problem was trying to figure out what to cry about.

If it was because Cincinnati Reds’ longtime beloved announcer Joe Nuxhall had died, then okay.

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But nothing else.

Do you want me to cry for Barry Bonds? There are people who say he has unjustly been made the poster face for the steroid cheaters in baseball.

Sorry folks, but you’re deflecting the real issue. Bonds was indicted for lying under oath to the federal government. It’s called perjury. People go to jail for that.

I don’t see this as a punishment for cheating by using steroids and HGH to improve his performance during a time period his skills should have been declining or because of a defiant, aloof disposition. It’s just a bonus.

Do you want me to cry for Gary Anderson, the BALCO employee who supplied his friend Bonds and many others with illegal steroids, because he had to sit in a jail for a year?

He sold illegal drugs and was showing the youth of America that they should use something that not only threatened their health but altered their personality in a violent manner. Sorry. Not feeling real bad for him right now, either.

Should I cry because baseball has a black eye?

This is the same sport in which owners and other officials turned their backs to the steroid era because they wanted to bring fans back to the ballparks after losing face in the cancellation of the 1994 World Series.

The owners made billions of dollars during this era as fans flocked to see the sudden power surge. In the meantime, some players have died because of their abuse of steroids.

Obviously, Bonds isn’t the only guilty party but he is the most vilified because he overtook a classy guy like Hank Aaron as the all-time home run king. Within the next decade, that problem will be eradicated if Alex Rodriguez stays healthy.

If proven that Bonds lied under oath, the penalty will be harsh. It’s a shame nothing can be done to guys like Mark McGwire or Sammy Sosa who didn’t lie but didn’t talk when questioned by Congress.

And we saw how credible Rafael Palmeiro’s testimony was to Congress when he defiantly denied steroid use only to get caught and suspended.

And, in typical character of all these steroid users, Palmeiro tired to blame it on a teammate.

It was more than just one sad day for baseball. It was a sad era.

But the only tears I’ll wipe away are tears of laughter. What a joke.