As a huge fan of the game of major league baseball, this story hit me really hard. It’s not about the Brewers. It’s about a kid with all the baseball talent in the world. The problem was (In his mind), he was too small.
Honestly, I’ve been going back and forth on whether or not I wanted to post something like this and it wasn’t until I got to the last chapter in the book "Game of Shadows" that I decided to post something in regards to what I’ve read.
My 12-year-old daughter who loves baseball, volleyball, bowling, and basketball just asked me, "Was the book good?" I didn’t even know how to give her an honest answer.
As a father of two athletic daughters still quite young from any serious competition, I’m sitting here thinking of ways to convince them about the dangers of performance-enhancing drugs. I don’t want to lie to them. Lord knows there has been enough of that going on for the past 10+ years on the subject. I just don’t want to know what it feels like to be the parents of Rob Garibaldi.
My review of the book "Game of Shadows" is short and simple, "Draw Your Own Conclusions". While Barry Bonds and other athletes mentioned in the book have already been convicted by public opinion, the authors were very clumsy in a good portion of the book quoting people close to the players involved but never revealing their names. Who said what? Oh, a close member of the Bonds family? To me, that is poor journalism.
I also walk away from reading this book thinking about the new drug-testing policy in baseball. You know, the first offense 50 games, the second offense 100 games, and then you are banned for life. Remember how self-proclaimed baseball experts like Peter Gammons saying this was an aggressive and huge step to cleaning up drug cheats in baseball. I believe this to be false. Being tested once a year is a joke. Although baseball is a seasonal occupation, the players are still drawing annual salaries. Until there are numerous random testing taking place on all major-league players, I believe that the players will continue to do whatever it takes to achieve whatever they want without regard to what is right and what is fair.
I accuse the commissioner of baseball as well as all of the other baseball owners of not wanting to cleanup the game. After all, their all-star players are their biggest assets. They cannot risk them being banned from a game that their own wealth is drawn from. Now that I think about it, why didn’t Bud Selig ask the government for all the evidence they had on Barry Bonds? Maybe it would have got in the way of the celebration they were planning when Bonds surpasses Babe Ruth for 2nd on the all-time home run list. Think about it.
Remember Judge Landis back in 1920? The owners hired him to cleanup baseball and he did just that. I remember one of the last things uttered in the movie Eight Men Out. You hear judge Landis giving a statement that said something like, “Regardless of outcomes in the Grand Jury indictment, no ballplayer who discusses fixing a game or consults with others about fixing a game and does not properly tell his team about it, will never play baseball again”. And so it was. Than ban held up under several appeals.
Bud Selig could never be this aggressive. The money lost from banning some of the highest profile players would send baseball owners to court against the commissioner, which is funny since it’s the owners who pay the commissioners’ salary.
OK. I’ve complained enough. I read the book and was saddened by the story of Rob Garibaldi.
Here are a few links that I would like you to read and comment on:
A statement read by Rob’s mom at the baseball congressional hearings last spring: