Comfortably numb

Where did you think this was going?

Kurt Streeter is outraged at everyone’s lack of outrage over Manny’s PED use:

So, sitting here in the press box during the Dodgers’ Saturday win against the Giants, the question comes. Am I, along with the other journalists who are breathing fire about this sordid story, simply out of touch with a huge slice of our audience, the who-cares-who-takes-what crowd?

You bet I’m out of touch, and that’s the very reason it’s important everyone in the media keep laying the wood to the rule-breakers and ne’er-do-wells. Someone has to draw the line. Someone has to keep hold of standards. Someone has to give voice to those who know there’s more to life than winning. How you win, how you prepare, the ethics you bring to the ballpark and yes, to life . . . guess what? That matters.

Here’s the fundamental disconnect between Kurt Streeter and the common Dodgers fan (and it isn’t a desire to return to the Bush presidency): the Dodgers fans want to enjoy baseball.

This is an important point. Streeter doesn’t have to like baseball (it seems these days that more and more sportswriters care about sports in the same way that most finance writers care for finance) in order to be engaged with it. Outrage doesn’t harm him any – in fact, it’s a plentiful source of material.

But for fans… look, we’ve been through this song and dance before, over 100 times or more. It ranges from the game’s top stars to guys who hold down the last spot in the bullpen and are always one bad pitch away from never seeing the majors again.

And a fan has only a few limited options in how to deal with this. He could turn into a perpetual fountain of outrage – but that’s not very condusive to the enjoyment of baseball. He could quit baseball altogether – but again, that (without it being a massive, widespread action) deprives the fan of enjoyment without really punishing the player or the sport.

Or he could become calloused. He could stop caring about steroids. And he can sit down and enjoy watching a baseball game.

Is it really so hard to understand that?

(I really wanted to link to Joe Posnanski’s piece on the subject here, but his website appears down. H/T to Primer.)

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