Posted by: pberry | May 11, 2009

The end of awe, the beginning of the truth, and why Manny isn’t the real reason we’re watching a pro wrestling version of MLB

Around 2PM on December 13th, 2007, I wanted to be one place. It was most certainly not our prohibition-themed company Christmas party. As thrilling as our rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas (complete with hand motions) was, my mind kept heading to the bar located a mere 20 yards away. I wasn’t thirsty, but I needed to be there.

https://i0.wp.com/nbcsportsmedia4.msnbc.com/j/apmegasports/200808012222805771686-pf.widec.jpg About the time the seven swans started swimming, I got the sudden urge to get the @!#$ out of there use the bathroom. My immediate need resolved, I headed over to the bar, not for the booze, but for the TV tuned to ESPN. Approaching the other 10% who couldn’t bare any more partridges or milking maids, I scanned for news. By this time, the reporting had given way to pontificating.

Rich decides to fill me.

“Brett and Saberhagen were both on the report,” he says.

My heart stopped.

I hadn’t even started to think of excuses as to why our nearly illegitimate World Series was still valid when he broke out in a gotcha smile.

With the revelation of Manny Ramirez’s positive steroid test this week, memories of the Mitchell Report have flooded back in. That day, awe died. We couldn’t be wowed anymore without saying somewhere inside “I wonder if that guy’s on the juice.” The awe was gone because you couldn’t trust that what you were seeing was what you thought it was. A player on steroids playing next to guys who aren’t is like a camera trick. His superiority is an illusion and we’re left to sort out the truth.

The truth was, we couldn’t.

So we assumed it was fake.

They might as well has brought the syringes, baby oil, tanning bed and ring right out on to the field.

But thanks to Manny, we’re a step close to be awed again. The testing is working (to a degree). I can start to think about possibly being awed by Albert, Jim, David, or one of the Joshs. There are definitely still guys who are cheating, but there are also guys who are getting caught.

And that’s a good first step.

But even if baseball gets cleaned up, and we can trust that every home run or 103 mph fastball, we’re still watching pro wrestling. Until a salary cap, and as I advocate, a salary floor, are put in place, the legitimacy of championships by teams spending more than 100 million dollars should be treated like Hulk Hogans: products of the system in which they perform. They are Goliath over which only a David, a no-name farm kid who doesn’t have a dime, could win because of God’s direct intervention.

Cap the salaries. MLBPA lost the right to protest when they held meetings to tell players how to get around drug testing.

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