Listen – I’ve eaten crow from time to time. It’s rare, of course. And no, I don’t mean the way it’s prepared. But if presented with a dish of crow that I deserve, I’ll be the first one to shove it down.
And trust me – it doesn’t taste like chicken. Much tougher.
Now, maybe you’re wondering: Hey guy, what in the hell are you talking about? Fair enough. If you haven’t already read it, Bill Conlin penned this piece admitting that calling for Reid’s head was a mistake. His basic premise was that we were done with Andy Reid long before the player’s were, they always claimed it was their performance that needed improvement, Jeffrey Lurie wasn’t going to listen to us anyway, and we were all wrong when we brandished our proverbial pitchforks and marched on Reid Manor.
Well, you know what? I’m not eating any damn crow. Sure, after the Ravens game, I called for Andy’s head, I’ll admit it. But a week later, after the Cardinals victory, I realized my haste, and retracted my stance. (Editor’s note: There are birds everywhere in this post). After all, I had previously said that I would evaluate Andy Reid over the course of the year, and come to an opinion after the season was in the books. My entire argument in that first article was that, should Andy not adjust his ridiculously pass-happy approach, it was probably time for him to go.
And you know what? He did.
So hell no, I won’t crow. I kind of already did after the Cardinals game, anyway. I don’t think it was full-blown crow – more like vegetarian crow, I guess.
And if, at some point next season, Andy goes crazy with the unbalanced passing attack once more, I’ll say the same thing – adjust and balance, or get on with your throwing self. (Editor’s note: Homeboy ain’t playing, either. Wiggity word.)
And now, we talk some J.C. This whole “banned substance” business in sports is starting to get very cloudy. First, you had the five NFL players this season who claimed they were never informed that the substance they were using was banned. And now, Mr. Romero, who was using an over-the-counter supplement, and maintains he was not informed that the substance was not allowed by Major League Baseball, has been suspended for 50 friggin’ games!
You can read all of the details in Phil Sheridan’s piece here, but I’ll paraphrase the main details. Essentially, Romero initially took the substance to the Phillies strength coach, Dong Lien, who recommended he seek another opinion, and then his nutritionist, who did not find anything that would suggest the supplement wouldn’t fly with MLB. That, and the Player’s Association had told players that any drug sold over-the-counter would not cause them to test positively for banned substances. Lien than sent a sample to MLB, which found that the supplement could cause a player to test positively, and sent these results to Bud Selig in July.
That’s what interests me. If MLB found that this supplement would not comply with their drug requirements, one that did not yet appear on their list of banned substances – namely because there had never been an over-the-counter drug that did – why wasn’t any notice given to the Player’s Association?
Alright, I’m tired of paraphrasing. Phil, we’ll just let you tell the next part of the story in your own words.
On Aug. 26, Romero gave a urine sample for a routine random drug test. On Sept. 19, during a road trip to Miami, he submitted another sample for a random test. It was not until four days later – after being tested randomly a second time – that Romero was told the Aug. 26 sample tested positive for a banned substance. He said he immediately stopped using the supplement.
Ok, last part of the story. MLB then apparently made J.C. an offer – either take a 25-game suspension now, which would have kept him out of the playoffs, or take a 50-suspension for the following season. J.C. obviously took the latter option, hoping to plead his innocence after the season while staying eligible for the playoffs.
Dude, this whole situation is really friggin’ odd. I have a lot of questions. Why didn’t the MLB notify the Player’s Association that they had discovered a new supplement with a banned substance in it? And if it was such a huge crime that J.C. had committed, why give him the option to compete in the World Series? Why not send a serious message to all of the players, and keep him out of the playoffs? But since MLB clearly did not think that particular punishment fit the crime, why suspend him 50 games? I mean, that’s a serious suspension. And why are we just hearing about all of this now, months after this was actually occurring?
That last one’s for you, baseball writers. (Editor’s note: Says the self-righteous blogger, responding to a story in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer. You could bathe in the irony).
So, J.C. has the unfortunate fate of being made both an example and a precedent. The example – if you’re not positive about a substance, don’t take it. Even if we at MLB don’t know about it yet, and had always assumed anything over-the-counter was cool. Players, do your damn homework, despite the fact that we didn’t on this one. The precedent – you may receive a 50-game suspension for honest ignorance, mostly because the MLB is afraid of losing face in the wake of the steroid scandal, and will thus avoid leniency even when circumstances dictate that some is in order.
Good ol’ MLB, punishing everything in it’s wake because it got busted on steroids after looking the other way for all those years. Hey, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa saved baseball, right? Hey, Roger Clemens took the hit, right? Hey, we can make a point with Romero, right?
Hey MLB, you recognize this sound, right?