Wednesday, August 03, 2005

learning the lesson

reading this morning that seattle starter ryan franklin will be suspended ten days for violating baseball's new steroid policy, i was encouraged to find franklin saying what baseball players had best come to believe.

Franklin would not discuss what he tested positive for. But he did say that he took supplements he bought at a nutrition store. Franklin said he gave up all supplements after the positive test. After that, he said he tested negative.

"I'll never take (supplements) again. ... I won't even take a vitamin until I'm done with baseball," he said. "I hate what's happened for the organization, for me, and my family. I'm done with taking anything."

rafael palmiero's positive test (now said to be stanozolole, something far beyond what can be the result of over-the-counter supplements) excludes him and many other ballplayers from this situation evidentially -- but not morally. franklin's lesson, if he is being genuine, is one to be learned not only by hardcore abusers but all of us. if you allow your drive to self-expression and self-determination -- be it in baseball or anything else -- to become a consuming, unhealthy enormity that allows you to justify pursuing the nth degree of selfishness by any means necessary, including costs to your peers, family and health, you are not fulfilling but rather undermining yourself, your society and whatever gifts god has granted you.

i think it's far too much to ask of baseball's new drug policy or one hall of fame speech to plant that philosophical seed in the head of an entire society. but they are certainly a step in the right direction.

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