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On Leyritz and more

The holidays are generally a slow time, but darn if there isn’t some dolt to provide material. Jim Leyritz, step up and face the music.

Leyritz’s incident is no joking matter, obviously. A family has been left in mourning, and the former New York Yankees World Series hero has seen his life altered forever. It’s tragic on all ends.

That said, Leyritz’s car accident two nights ago serves to show just what the professional baseball is up against in its bid to ban the sport of all things ill. Perhaps I’m off base on the analogy, but it seems that if ballplayers are still loading up on alcohol and then driving home (as Leyritz was alleged to do), then there’s simply no way to prevent any of them from sticking the odd needle in their behind.

Think about it. The campaign to curtail drinking and driving in this country goes back to 1980. I was in junior high school when Cari Lightner was killed by a drunk driver, the result of which caused her mother, Candy to form Mothers Against Drunk Driving. The formation of MADD created a fundamental change in how we viewed drinking and driving; the evils of it were preached in the classroom as early as elementary school, and the societal view of it gradually changed.

And yet, the problem still persists. And it’s unlikely ever to be eradicated completely.

So it will be with performance-enhancing drugs at all levels. Three decades worth of education might stem the tide, but it won’t ever be stopped completely. In my experience, professional athletes have a unique sense of self-confidence; it’s likely one of the key traits that gets them to that level in the first place. It’s that trait that seems to give them a sense of invincibility. We all have it when we’re in our teens, but most of us grow out of it. I’d argue that most professional athletes do not.

Anyway, it’s this trait that leads one not to call a cab but rather to hop in a car and defy the odds, just as it leads one to ignore the health hazards and stick a needle in his behind. Which is why we’ll probably be unearthing players as performance-enhancing drug users from now until forever.

Meantime, some other quick thoughts:

Interesting comments by Rep. Christopher Shays regarding Bud Selig’s responsibility for the rise of the Steroid Era. I agree with Shays completely, but I think his comments could be extended to any number of corporate CEO’s. The almighty dollar trumps all else, and our country has suffered for it.

— So now Roger Clemens’ lawyer has hired private investigators to discredit Brian McNamee? That’s it, blame the messenger.

— Got the following e-mail from a Cubs fan labeled mjtracy1226@comcast.com, regarding the last two lines of of my column Friday. “You can go to hell for your remark about the Cubs. … I hope something terrible happens to you this year.” Two things about that: 1) Shame when you can’t laugh at yourself or your team (and if you can’t laugh at the Cubs’ futility, then you might as well cry). 2) Wishing ill upon others is, in a word, sick.

rhurd

  • jesse

    drugs in all forms will never stop but every person that becomes a father and mother needs to keep there lifestyle morally sound. god (jesus christ) must be sought out and knowing his word can best keep people on the straight and narrow. remember our great country was started with an understanding of god as the foundation. so blaming society is a joke each individual must understand right from wrong. well god bless and I hope one day that all things are possible for those that seek god and no i am not perfect just understand a few things. god bless and good luck to all

  • http://www.timelinemp.com Danny

    For that Cub’s fan out there:
    1. You chose to be a Cub’s fan, you have to deal with the consequences.
    2. You need to listen to a song called, “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request”. It will open your eyes to the craptacular nature of your team. You shouldn’t get upset when others point out to you how horrible they will continue to be.

    It’s also not just the baseball players who are constantly guilty of drunk driving, I’m amazed at the Hollywood ‘elite’ who will get behind a wheel after having way to much. These people can afford not only a taxi, but a private driving service to take them from bar to bar. Why isn’t that part of the contracts? Caught drunk driving=no more job. That should help some, yes?