Tonawanda News

Opinion

July 24, 2013

DUVALL: Tip of the cap to the real ballplayers

Tonawanda News — I was sitting at the end of the bar in one of my favorite local watering holes one night last week, quietly enjoying a beer and my thoughts after a long night at the office. The ubiquitous late night SportsCenter broadcast was playing on mute. The neon light in the window flickered and I peered through the golden tint of my pint of beer to the distorted Molson CanADIAn coaster below.

I glanced up and happened to catch a bulletin on ESPN’s hamster wheel of news spinning at the bottom of the screen: MLB union head says MLBPA will no longer defend players against overwhelming evidence of steroid use.

The union, the bulletin went on to say, would instead encourage players to cut a deal with MLB on punishment.

I silently rose my pint of beer and toasted the screen.

Finally, I thought, the good players — the clean players — are getting the upper hand.

It didn’t take long for the union’s advice to sink in.

Ryan Braun, the sanctimonious rat who plays left field for the Milwaukee Brewers, was suspended for the remainder of the season after taking the baseball equivalent of a plea bargain for violating the league’s new, tougher performance-enhancing drug policy.

One might point out not having to go to the ballpark for the remainder of the Brew Crew’s pathetic 2013 season might be more reward than punishment. Essentially, Braun will pay $4.5 million or so for the privilege of giving up early on a Brewers squad that is 16 games below .500 and in last place in the National League Central (19 games behind my first place St. Louis Cardinals).

Of all the steroid users over the last decade or longer in baseball few are as odious as Braun.

After the 2011 NL MVP failed a drug test during the playoffs he was suspended 50 games. He had the suspension overturned on appeal after he exploited a loophole in the testing procedure, then took to Miller Field during spring training to proclaim his vindication to all the world — when pretty much the whole world knew he got lucky.

Text Only
Opinion
  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On lines blurred, crossed and nonexistent It strikes me more and more how blurry the lines have gotten in all facets of our world, large and small.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014