The walls really close in on you after a few days on the shelf. On the plus side, I got to watch the Yanks in pre-season action on Thursday night, which meant seeing Mussina look sharp, Matsui look powerful, and Carl Pavano look up in the zone. I was overjoyed to see some pinstripes on the field again, but Pavano concerns me. Maybe my observation was tinged by my prejudice against Pavano, but he just didn't didn't seem to have much on his pitches--not velocity or movement. I know this is Spring Training, but the whole thing gives me the fear.
On the minus side, this is the worst possible weekend for me to be out of action. My mom's birthday is this weekend, the birthday party for my college pal Aaron is tomorrow, and I'm going to miss tonight's Baseball Prospectus book signing at Colisseum books. This upsets me.
So we have joy, fear and anger, which is about half the pallete of human emotion. Now, if I could leave the damn apartment, maybe I'd get to experience the rest of it.
Just the other day, I mentioned that I need to update my links. So I'm busily preparing to do so, and off go some of my top bloggers and change addresses--again. Bronx Banter, Will Carroll Presents, and the Humbug Journal have all moved from their respective homes to a new construct, The Baseball Toaster. Could someone please email me when it's finally safe for me to update my links?
"We need to to be investigated by someone who wants to kill us just to watch us die. We need someone perceived by the American people to be irresponsible, untrustworthy, partisan, ambitious, and thirsty for the limelight. Am I crazy, or is this not a job for the U. S. House of Representatives?"
Can't claim credit for that one, that's from the West Wing. Still, I think it captures my opinion of the announced congressional hearings on steroids. Look, it's not the HUAC--we're not tearing at the fabric of american society here. Steroid distribution is a federal crime, and major league baseball is a federally-regulated (or rather, considering the anti-trust exemption, deregulated) business. This means that Congress does have an arguable legitimate interest to poke around, educate themselves with regard to future legislation they might pass on steroids or on baseball.
Then again, it's not the Watergate Hearings, either. Steroids are, after all, already illegal. They've been present in sports for decades, and MLB's already taken action to improve testing. So the purposes given by legislators for this investigation are pretty vague and flimsy ("We're going to show kids that steroids aren't cool" seems to be the prevailing idea).
What this is just going to be is an amateur talent show, for a bunch of folks with their own agendas. Politicians will get their names in the paper--in the Sports pages, which are probably read by more people than Congressional Register. They'll try to convince people that they are pro-children and anti-cheating (it would be much more interesting to see them argue the contrary positions). Jose Canseco will try to sell a few more books. Curt Schilling will audition for a post-baseball career in politics. Jason Giambi will try to walk a tightrope, again.
I didn't say it had to be a good talent. Still, I'm expecting that Big G's agent, Arn Tellem, will have a good time, with hopes of getting to play the Tom Hagen part in Godfather 2 "This committee owes an apology, Senator!"
Still, while most people worry about the effect that these hearings will have on baseball, I'm a little more concerned about the effect that they'll have on Congress. It is, after all, a more important body than Major League Baseball, and here we stand helplessly watching it waste their time and our money, on something that won't make one bit of difference to anyone except for the various amateur talent show contestants.