Thursday, June 02, 2005

Be My Guest!

Bill Griggs writes what has to be the worst guest column of the week in Wednesday's N-S. It's about steroids in baseball (maybe he submitted it a few months ago), and features the word "gainsaid." (Yes, we had to look it up too.)
With such an unfair advantage over their predecessors, today’s players’ records are virtually meaningless. If the problem were confined to only a few select players, its impact could be gainsaid, but it encompasses virtually the entire sport. All modern statistics should be multiplied by .67 to once again create the level playing field that had characterized baseball from its inception. Baseball should act swiftly and decisively to rectify this situation. Barry Bonds should immediately be credited with 471 home runs, not 703.
Ah yes, the .67 multiplier rule. Kind of seems arbitrary, but this is a guest column, so why quibble? Besides, there are more non sequiturs to come:
Perhaps the real culprit of modern performance enhancement is Terre Haute native Tommy John. Scores of pitchers and other athletes have emulated John’s performance-enhancing surgery and unfairly resumed a career that should rightly have ended. Many players are even using performance-enhancing glass or plastic over their corneas to gain them unfair advantages in hitting and catching baseballs. Still others have foregone the traditional baseball fare of hot dogs, peanuts and crackerjack and replaced those foods with performance-enhancing fruits and vegetables to give them an unfair nutritional advantage. All these cheaters should likewise be expelled from the sport.
Okay, wait, we just realized that Griggs is trying to use sarcasm (or perhaps satire) to make a point. He's not being serious, as far as we can tell. (Hey, can you blame us for assuming he was another Guest Column Crazy?)

But his concluding paragraph doesn't exactly redeem the rest. It barely even addresses the point that he's (ostensibly) trying to make:
Not everyone is a cheater, however. Credit should be given to those few intrepid souls who play by the rules. No one personifies this spirit more than Steve Howe. Howe not only did not use performance-enhancing drugs, he used performance-diminishing drugs in an obvious effort to level the playing field for his opponents. Howe’s 47 lifetime wins and 91 saves should be multiplied at least fourfold to give him a minimum of 188 lifetime wins and 364 lifetime saves, surely enough to be enshrined in Cooperstown where a man of his unquestioned sportsmanship belongs.
Seriously, the next time something like this is about to be published, give Media Notes a call. We can whip up a column in an hour or so, and we guarantee that it will be better than what usually occupies the lower left of the editorial page.

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