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Why do we cheat to compete? What is to be done? What are we to think?

[For the beginning of this thread, see http://www.bigthink.com/rest-diversions/7454].


Babe Ruth had his beer and dogs; Paul Hornung (self-admittedly) had a near-all-night binge before Super Bowl I; Joe DiMaggio had Marilyn. Scandalous? Hardly. Public faux-pas? Certainly. Damaging to the profession? Not so far as I can tell. Ruth smacked homers. Hornung blew by the Raiders. DiMaggio was, by all accounts, a baseball hero.

Those of us who follow sports in general, I believe, expect a certain level of ethical behaviour from the participants, especially the professionals.  As baseball is arguably the most perfect game, I am hopeful that those in charge step back and take a practical and beneficial view of their responsibility to the players, the organizations, and especially the fans.

A side note on the participation of government in professional sports:
Professsional baseball is a business, first and foremost. Like theatre, it takes butts in seats to make things work, to pay the players, the organization, the light bill, etc. Part of the documentation linked in the previous post includes transcripts of RICO hearings on baseball, which, if I'm not mistaken, are within the purview of government. Since performance enhancers provide a non-level playing field in sports for various reasons, I will suggest (until convinced otherwise, by legal means) that such related hearings are also within the purview of government.

I will agree with other commentators that the tendency for the Clemens hearing to become bipartisanly ineffective made it a strutting contest between Democrats and Republicans. Reps. Waxman and Shays certainly (albeit indirectly) clashed swords interestingly at the end, leaving both Clemens and McNamee rather scathed. Unfortunately Clemens and McNamee (and others in the very near future, I suspect) have set themselves up for it.

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