Don’t Lump Everyone Together

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Dont Lump Everyone Together

There seems to be a lot of people wanting to pile on tennis star Maria Sharapova after she revealed that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open. News of her positive test for Meldonium sent shockwaves in the sports world.

You have to be completely naïve to keep using a substance even if it has been just recently banned. But at the same time, unless you can prove me otherwise, don’t for a second lump Sharapova in with a lying cheater like disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong. Frankly, that’s taking the easy way out. That being no one cares about context or any reason behind the result. They judge a game by the final score. People who do that just raised former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s IQ by 30 points.

It is no secret that Sharapova has had health problems in her tennis career. It would make sense that she would take medication to deal with that. I’m no medical expert but if Sharapova does have a heart condition as she claims she has, why on earth would she continue playing a sport like tennis at a high level? That to me is something I would look into instead of dismissing it as another athlete that got caught cheating.

I remember Canadian Olympian rower Silken Laumann was stripped of her Pan American gold medal in 1995 after testing positive for a banned substance that is readily available as an over-the-counter medication. No one was quick to call her a cheater once word got out. But there were some who wanted to do so ever since Ben Johnson and the Seoul Olympics. And that was because she was a Canadian athlete.

Here’s another thing to watch for. Even if Sharapova is cleared of any wrongdoing, what she has done is put every athlete with a medical condition under a spotlight. They will now (if they haven’t done so after Armstrong’s cancer diagnosis) be scrutinized by every move they make. I would bet Arizona Coyotes forward Max Domi will be watched closely to see if what he is taking for his diabetes meets the performance enhancing substance test. Don’t doubt me on this.

The act of painting people with a wide brush is nothing new. Those like me who like hockey with hard hits and fighting are called goons, hooligans, anarchists, etc.. And it is also not limited to sports. Having followed politics as long as I have been alive, people go through these brushes like candy. Progressives see everyone who wants lower taxes and small government as racist, sexist, and homophobic. Is that them being lazy? Absolutely. Am I being a hypocrite by painting leftists with a wide brush? Maybe. But then again, if they don’t like it, that just further proves my point.

Sharapova will get suspended for her positive drug test. Ignorance alone will not be enough to get her off. But I will not call her a cheater. I know the real reason. Too bad others can’t take the time to do the same.

Also see:

Why You Won’t See Me Piling On Ray Rice
Racism Knows No Bounds
The Past is Starting to Catch Up to the Patriots

Bautista’s Fate with Blue Jays in His Hands

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Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Jose Bautista will be 36 years old once the 2016 season ends. Professional athletes at that time start to think about retiring. Bautista wants to still play. The problem is, he is starting to show signs that his ability to play at a high level is starting to drop.

News about his impending free agency has the talking heads in the media wondering if this is Bautista’s last season as a Blue Jay. Bautista believes he is still The Guy on the team, but he’s not. The Blue Jays now belong to Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki. Bautista has fallen enough on the depth chart that there seems to be no rush by management to re-sign him. But at the same time, the Blue Jays don’t have a suitable replacement in right field. There were talks about bringing Jay Bruce over from Cincinnati to take over the right field position as well as provided a much-needed left-handed bat in the line up. But that did not materialized.

While it may seem enormous for Bautista to ask for $150 Million over 5 years, he is really following Contract Negotiations 101. That is, ask for a lot then work it down to the number you actually want. Bautista will remain a Blue Jay past this season unless he prices himself out of a deal. There are factions starting to develop among Blue Jays Nation, one is with Bautista and the other against him. It’s kind of like the campaign for the Republican Party presidential nomination. I am probably the only one who would hope cooler heads prevail in the contract negotiations.

What Bautista did by going public with his contract demands is give Mark Shapiro and Ross Clark a little love tap. Bautista was an Alex Anthopoulos loyalist and his departure may have made Bautista question his future with the Blue Jays. Shapiro and Clark may have to bend over backwards in order to make Bautista earn their trust.

While many believe no team will pay Bautista that kind of money, I have 3 words: New York Yankees. They overpay everyone and don’t seem to mind that they end up holding the bag. Alex Rodriguez is perhaps the best and most recent example.

I hope contract negotiations don’t become a distraction once baseball season starts on April 3rd. But the fate of Bautista as a Blue Jay will rest solely on him. He’ll be hard to replace, but at the same time I won’t be shedding too many tears if he is gone. Choose wisely, Jose.

Also see:

Rooting Against Someone is Gutless… and the Bat Flip Heard Around the World
Blue Jays Need Players… Ones That Don’t Get Hurt Easily
The Blue Jays Should Get A-Rod