As I wrote this morning, the Jerod Morris/Raul Ibanez incident has made me realize that yes, taking writers to task for making irresponsible, evidence-free steroid allegations is a worthy endeavor. We simply can’t tolerate it, and we should do everything we can to put a stop to it. That’s why, as a continuing service, I will be highlighting similar egregious examples of writers who have leveled the worst, most damaging kind of innuendo a player can suffer.
Except unlike everyone who got bent out of shape over Morris, I’m going to include Genuine Professional Journalists in the public shaming.
I’m calling this feature the Geoff Baker Rigidity Award, after the Seattle Times intrepid writer who noted this morning that the people who hurl this kind of baseless innuendo wouldn’t have passed the “very rigid course” he taught at Concordia University. If you read that piece, you realize that Baker is not a man to be trifled with. People’s lives are on the goddamn line when he’s out in the field, so anyone who wins this award should (a) consider themselves TOLD; and (b) should thank Geoff Baker for saving them from themselves before they go and get someone killed or something.
First up, courtesy of reader Andy H., comes the man who may very well be the highest paid sports journalist out there, which by definition makes him a professional. It’s Rick Reilly who, after retroactively stripping Barry Bonds of his 2004 MVP, goes on to disqualify second place finisher Adrian Beltre from eligibility as well:
We’re throwing out Beltre since, while he denies ever using PEDs, he fell off the face of the planet once baseball put in stricter steroid suspensions in 2005. If he wasn’t cheating, I’m the Queen Mother.
So come on down Rick Reilly and accept the inaugural Geoff Baker Rigidity Award! Because you’ll no doubt be busy getting creamed on national television and raked over the coals in print for the next few days due to your irresponsible allegations, I’ll agree not to make you come here in person to accept it, even if that means you won’t have to look me in the eye.
Got a nominee for the Geoff Baker Rigidity Awards? By all means, my good friends, send it along.*
*Selena Roberts not eligible, as she will soon be receiving a lifetime achievement award.