[Sports] I know that nothing in the Mitchell Report on drug use in pro baseball should shock me.
The only mystery to the 20-month investigation, whose results broke yesterday, was which big-league players would get caught in the net of corruption. Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Jason Giambi, blah, blah, blah. All of them looking like industrial-sized freezers with a set of arms and legs, and we're supposed to be somehow shocked at the revelations of regular steroid use?
I'm a lifetime lover of baseball, but I'm also a grownup. At some point I came to grasp the truly corrupting power of money in this and all pro sports. So I'm not going to lose a lot of sleep over this story.
But then there is my 16-year-old son. Sam is in love with baseball, has been since he wore a Onesie and could pitch a Nerf across the living room. He knows every team roster, every trade, can spit out player stats and trade rumors in his sleep. He played in Little League, Babe Ruth and on every rec team we could find. Sam's number on his last jersey was 10. He was a hot outfielder and his nickname was "Ten-acious."
And all Sam could say after hearing the names of players suspected of doping was this: "They're all just juicers."
I'm sorry. It's one thing for me, the jaded mom who's seen it all, to shrug my shoulders at this league-wide implosion. But hearing the tone of resignation in Sam's voice--the "they all do it" acceptance of the thing--pretty much tore me up. Add to this the constant "don't do drugs" messages pounding kids at every juncture, while their biggest sports heroes routinely shoot up in their trainer's office and nothing makes sense anymore.
I couldn't even tell my teenager the usual stock fallback answer of "oh no, they don't all do it." Because it looks like they do. I know Clemens, scrambling to spin his way out of this mess and angling for a way to worm into the Hall of Fame, will never know my lanky, goofy kid--who hung on every pitch he ever hurled. But I hate what message Clemens and the rest have left with him.
They're all just juicers. And I hope they all go down.