Mark Zinno: A Black Eye Worth Having
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It’s been 24 hours since the story broke about Major League Baseball and Tony Bosch corroborating to put together one of the largest drug busts in our country’s history, and furthermore resurfacing that black eye that is performance enhancing drugs in baseball. The game has suffered more in the last 10 years than it did in the previous century. The stigma that is PEDs and their close ties to the sport has left the fans with a sour taste and filled with apathy.
MLB executives are in the unenviable spot to be forced to do one of the worst public relations strategies ever, which is pitting their product – the players – against their consumers – the fans. You can only be on one side or the other. Or you can choose the aforementioned apathy, which many have already done.
We in the media are divisive as ever, weighing out both sides and almost preying on fans inability to do their own research and have their own thought, meanwhile being self-serving and grabbing ratings wherever we can. The most shocking an appalling stance I have scene so far, has been one of the lack of credit given to Major League Baseball for doing the right thing. Forget the black eye. Forget the ugliness that will ensue as players, their union and league officials argue ad nausea over who is right and wrong. Baseball did the right thing. They deserve credit. Since when has any other sport been so diligent in cleaning itself up and policing itself? The short answer is never. Are PEDs a problem in football and other sports? Absolutely. Are they doing what baseball is to stop. No. The NFL will shortly turn into the WWE with great happiness as TV contracts grow and revenue in owners pockets overflows.
The alternative for baseball was to do nothing. To sweep this under the rug, just like it did a decade ago, and then deal with the backlash of the masses. Baseball did the right thing. The only thing it could. I have heard non-stop adulation for the reporters who broke the story, rather than the baseball people for going forward with this. Is there anything more ridiculous? That would be like giving credit to the news stations for helping to catch the Boston Marathon bombers instead of the incredible work of the law enforcement officials, who worked tirelessly to solve the case!
And no matter what media, the fans and the masses think, choosing the hard right, over the easy wrong is something that our society has yet to wrap their heads around. We just say “I told you so!” and “How dare you?” after the fact. Baseball will be smarter and stronger for this. With some pain now, there will be a lot of gain in the future. And one media member, applauds you.
Follow me on Twitter @MarkZinno