So it used to be I had a nice, quiet, little blog, where I could write odes to baseball, offering cute anecdotes and historical references. No one paid all that much attention, but I accepted it as the norm for a new sports blog. I mainly wanted the chance to write about sports, moreover baseball, on a regular basis and my blog granted that.
Until yesterday, that is.
Sports blogging is back on the national radar. I suppose it was inevitable, though I didn’t figure it would come at the hands of Raul Ibanez. To those out of the loop, one of the bloggers whose stuff gets reprinted here wrote a post a couple of days ago exploring the possibility that the aging Philadephia Phillies slugger may be on steroids, due to his freakish start this year (at 37, he’s currently on pace for 57 home runs, after never managing more than 33 in a season.) It seemed fair enough to consider, for probably 10 different reasons at least, though the national media blew a gasket.
First the story spread around the blogosphere. Then came a column from John Gonzalez of the Philadelphia Inquirer who quoted Ibanez saying, “You can have my urine, my hair, my blood, my stool—anything you can test. I’ll give you back every dime I’ve ever made if the test is positive.” (Sammy Sosa also had an impassioned response when Rick Reilly challenged him to take a test back in 2002, as recounted here. To highlight: “This interview is over. Over motherfucker!”)
By yesterday afternoon, the blogger, Jerod Morris, was appearing on ESPN’s Outside the Lines, along with Gonzalez and Ken Rosenthal of The Sporting News. I watched the segment yesterday evening through a link from the ESPN.com homepage, which had an in-depth story about the article. Rosenthal and Gonzalez acted more like they were on Bill O’Reilly, ripping into Morris for not protecting Ibanez’s reputation. It’s the same kind of crap the media said a decade ago after an Associated Press reporter wrote a story about finding androstenedione in Mark McGwire’s locker. It’s embarrassing that we’re still at this level.
For Morris’s part, I thought he held his own. He looked a little nervous at times, with what looked like “Richard Nixon at the 1960 Presidential Debates” stage makeup. Hey, I sweat too. But I’m sure Morris would have more polish if he was on the air as much as sports journalists seem to go on these days (ratings be damned.) And Morris stuck to his guns, not resorting to the condescencion or personal attacks of his counterparts.
Good job man. We’re all proud of you. Envious too.