Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sosa Sucks! The social cost of selfish sport star substance abuse

As yet another big name in baseball gets attached to substance abuse [this time it's some pumped up cheater by the name of Sammy Sosa] I remain stunned by the narrow-minded focus of the media. How do you spell selfish S-O-S-ASure, some of the better sports writers wrestle with what all this means but most coverage is confined to:

  1. The fans (how will they cope with the fall of their idols?)

  2. The sport (will people still respect baseball and pay to watch games?)

  3. The team (can they win games without the suspended player?)

  4. The player (how will it affect his Hall of Fame chances)


I'm tempted to say screw them all, or at least numbers 2 through 4. I'm appalled that nobody seems to care a toss about what this continued abuse of "substances"  means to the people who actually need these substances to stay alive (yes, you can die from adult growth hormone deficiency--see this blog post).

Why doesn't anyone write about how selfish abuse by obscenely overpaid sports-jerks has made Human Growth Hormone (HGH) harder to get for people with medical conditions who legitimately need it to function? How about... How about a story to connect the dots between the greed of sports stars, the failure of wealthy team owners to manage the morals of their business, and the classification of Human Growth Hormone as a controlled substance in some states?

BTW, that move has imposed burdensome prescription restrictions on patients, like forcing doctors to write a new prescription every 30 days for a substance that some people--many of them children--need to inject every day of the year for many year.

When some overpaid faker named Ramirez was called out for abuse a few weeks ago, most of the press I saw was about him losing $7.7 million in pay this season, boo hoo. As far as I could see he got to keep the other $17 million of his annual earnings. And he got to enjoy a 6-week suspension-vacation (who wouldn't like a 6 week vacation?).

Did he get arrested? Banned for life? No! Why? Either our inadequate national press has left people clueless as to the wider implications of this behavior, or fans and owners really don't care as long as there are games to watch. Either way it's a shameful state of affairs.

FYI, it just so happens that I live near the Baseball Hall of Fame (a distant relative of mine was in the first cohort of inductees). I'm thinking Cooperstown might the place to stage a protest over steroid abuse, on behalf of those honest, decent, but unfortunate folks who need steroids to stay alive.

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