Wednesday, June 5, 2013
DON'T HANG A-ROD AND BRAUN JUST YET
In this rush-to-judgement, guilty until proven innocent, be first, damn if I'm wrong about the
facts world, Alex Rodrguez, Ryan Braun, and a host of other players have already been tarred and
feathered by the public. A report that broke late on Tuesday said MLB was "seeking to suspend"
the players in connection with the Biogenesis clinic in Miami where they may have received
Sports talk radio will be humming by 10 o'clock this morning and Twitter will be on fire with
tweets about the demise of A-Rod and the rise to Lance Armstrong-like status for Braun, who, if
this report holds true, would mirror the disgraced cyclist as a liar, cheater, and one big fraud.
Stop. Just everybody stop and let the facts play out.
In this country, people think an arrest is equal to a conviction. It is not. I realize the majority
of the people in this country treat the facts as a nuisance and gossip is king, but seriously, this
case is far from a slam dunk. I know that most fans, mostly New Yorkers will already have the Yankees voiding A-Rod's contract, thus saving themselves the remaining $145 of the worst deal in the history of the game. By noon on Wednesday, they'll also think the Yankees will tell A-Rod
that he'll never the wear the pinstripes again and to stay away from the Bronx forever.
Just hold on. For once.
First of all, it was ESPN that broke this report. I realize they are the World-Wide Leader, but
they have been wrong before. Remember the mess they made of the Bernie Fine case? He was
the longtime assistant basketball coach to Jim Boeheim at Syracuse accused by two former ball
boys of being sexually molested by Fine some 30 years ago. This, of course, came on the heels
of the Jerry Sandusky case at Penn State, where ESPN was late to the breaking news party.
ESPN allegedly sat on a tape of Fine's wife for seven years, which had been shot with a hidden camera, fingering Fine as a sexual molester. Syracuse didn't bother to let the facts play out and
fired Fine after more than 40 years with the school. Yeah, way to stick behind a guy who was
loyal to you for almost a half century. Well, most of the public read the headlines and bought
into ESPN's salacious story and convicted Fine and went on its merry way, branding Fine as a molester, and using him in the same breath as Sandusky.
But when the facts played out, Fine wasn't the person that ESPN and everybody else portrayed
him to be, was he? The major accusers in the case were all liars. They were looking for their 15 minutes of fame, not to mention a way to make a quick buck. Fine was never charged by anyone,
anywhere. It's too bad he can't get his reputation back. As for ESPN, they just went on to the
next story as if nothing ever happened. It might, though, as Fined filed a defamation of character
lawsuit against the Big House in Bristol.
Second of all, ESPN has used the whole, "according to sources" thing for its report on A-Rod,
Braun, and others possibly being suspended by MLB. Hasn't anybody learned by now that
"sources" are often wrong, lack credibility, and are used just to give a story depth and support?
I wish I had a dollar for every time Buster Olney of ESPN was wrong after using the "according
to my sources" support system. If he's wrong, he just says, "Well, that's what my sources, whom
I consider to be very reliable, told me. That source could be the mailman for all anybody knows.
But the public just buys it hook, line, and sinker. They read about those "sources" on-line or hear
about them on television so it MUST be true and they MUST be accurate. Gimme a break.
According to ESPN's "sources", Tony Bosch, the head of the now-defunct Biogenesis clinic
in Miami, the one accused of being a crack house of PED's for all these baseball players,
has agreed to cooperate with MLB's investigation. According to "sources" Bosch is ready to
"name names", which always seems to get a rise out of the public. There are no positive drug
tests in this case, so all MLB has is names. I realize for many people, that's enough to hang
others, especially when they are rich and famous athletes, but it's not. And oh, yeah, like a
voodoo doctor running an illegal operation has never lied before or stretched the truth. Right.
MLB has yet to respond to ESPN's report and probably never will. ESPN, like a prosecution
team, has presented it's side of the story and the public has bought into like a jury does after
hearing the opening arguments. The prosecution would always be undefeated if the defense
didn't get to examine and cross-examine the facts. But when BOTH sides of the story are heard,
those facts the prosecution presented aren't as ironclad as they first appeared to be, are they?
Let the facts play out. All we have is one side of the story and it's ESPN's. When you get the
other side of the story, you may see things differently. But I doubt it. Opinions have already
been formed and those just might be hard to change. See Bernie Fine.