Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

July 24, 2013

Dirty rotten scoundrels

So many things I don’t understand.

For instance, I don’t understand how you can always find a van, truck or SUV parked in front of signs that say, “FOR CARS ONLY - NO VANS, TRUCKS OR SUVS.” Why bother to put up the signs if we’re not going to enforce what they say?

And why is the Royal baby such a big deal here? I understand why it is over there, but why were so many people here so giddy and pacing about as though they were going to have a baby themselves? I mean the kid’s still third in line to the throne.

Maybe it’s because at our core, despite van, truck and SUV drivers who park in front of those signs, we’re not really ugly Americans after all. Maybe we’re actually more genial than the rest of the world believes we are. So why not get a little bubbly over the Royal baby, right? As Lt. Frank Drebin once said, “No matter how silly the idea of having a queen might be to us, as Americans, we must be gracious and considerate ...”

And is it just me, or does Prince William remind anybody else of Peyton Manning? And please. Enough of calling the Manning family — likeable as they are — America’s quarterback royalty. Ack! No wonder Johnny Football bugged out.

Speaking of bugging out, how about that Ryan Braun? Talk about your bold-faced liars ... Prior to being suspended for 65 games for taking performance enhancing drugs, the Milwaukee Brewers slugger denied not once, but eight times taking PEDs, with my personal favorite being the denial of Feb. 24, 2012: “If I had done this intentionally or unintentionally, I’d be the first one to step up and say, ‘I did it.' By no means am I perfect, but if I’ve ever made any mistakes in my life, I’ve taken responsibility for my actions. I truly believe in my heart and I would bet my life that this substance never entered my body at any point.”

Guess his life’s worth just 65 games as, this past Monday, we came across Braun saying, “As I have acknowledged in the past, I am not perfect. I realize now that I have made some mistakes. I am willing to accept the consequences of those actions. This situation has taken a toll on me and my entire family, and it has been a distraction to my teammates and the Brewers organization ... I am glad to have this matter behind me once and for all, and I cannot wait to get back to the game I love.”

Sure, nobody’s perfect, right? Everybody makes mistakes. And this whole thing really must have taken a toll on Braun and his family, so thank goodness it’s behind him. And I imagine he’s somewhere taking practice cuts right now so he can get back to the game he loves — the game he loves so much that he spent more than a year lying to everybody connected with it.

And speaking of a toll being taken on somebody and his family, what of the original urine collector in this sticky mess, Dino Laurenzi Jr., who received death threats because Braun did nothing but lie? We have no apology for Dino? I’ll bet this all became a bit of a distraction for him too, although this is the business he has chosen. Personally, I’d look for something else to collect, but that’s just me.

What I really didn’t understand about all of this was Major League Baseball saying first thing in its statement, “We commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions,” and MLB Players Association executive director Mike Weiner saying, “I am deeply gratified to see Ryan taking this bold step ...”

Bold step? He was twice caught red-handed, and then negotiated his suspension down with Major League Baseball. Saving your skin is a bold step? Cheating and then lying about it at least eight times and then saying “I’m not perfect” after you’re caught in your lie is taking responsibility? Sure it is, just like the guy who wasn’t a bit sorry he robbed the bank, but who is now very sorry he got caught with the goods.

The guess here is Braun will assume poster boy status for MLB’s fight against PEDs once he is allowed to return to the game he loves, as MLB and the MLBPA both spoke of the positive contributions he would be making in the future, both on and off the field. But with his credibility rating going neck and neck with Anthony Weiner’s, who really needs to see that?

Unfortunately, having now been through several of these PED episodes, there is very little left to surprise us, although word persists that what Braun faced is small potatoes compared to what Alex Rodriguez is about to.

At least something positive is about to happen for the Yankees.

Mike Burke is sports editor of the Cumberland Times-News. Write to him at mburke@times-news.com

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Support Canal classrooms with tax-deductible gift

    While your April 17 article (“Park Service opens Canal classrooms,” Page 1A) described this exciting program accurately, your readers may be wondering how they can help support this new educational opportunity for school children in Allegany County.

    April 18, 2014

  • Ivan Hall story brings back memories of a unique man

    I enjoyed Mike Sawyers’ Ivan Hall story. It was well written and brought back some wonderful memories of my Cumberland days and especially, an unique man.

    April 18, 2014

  • It’s a secret It’s a secret

    Could someone enlighten us about why not even the names of the two entities bidding on development of the Footer Dye Works building can be divulged?
    A Times-News article about the bids included an explanation from a lawyer for the attorney general’s office about the need to keep the names and other information secret at this time. Despite that, the logic of not divulging at least a little more information escapes us.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • What do we do about those who weren’t criminals after all?

    Now that Maryland has become the 17th state to (finally) decriminalize possession of marijuana, one could say that the legislature and governor should be patted on the back for doing the right thing.

    April 17, 2014

  • The first step The first step

    If all goes as planned, Frostburg State University will one day offer a doctorate in nursing, a physician’s assistant program and a new health sciences building on campus.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Translations differ, but the message is eternal

    This letter is in response to a recent letter titled “One cannot compromise on God’s word” (April 13 Times-News). I had previously written a letter titled “Why are compromises so difficult to achieve” (April 7).

    April 15, 2014

  • Closing the loopholes will help clear the regulatory waters

    After a decade of uncertainty over Clean Water Act jurisdiction following Supreme Court challenges in 2001 and 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers announced a forthcoming administrative rule to close enforcement loopholes, restoring protections to 20 million acres of wetlands, more than half the nation’s streams, and drinking water for 117 million Americans.

    April 15, 2014

  • The first step Remember where your freedom comes from before criticizing

    The deal at Fort Hood could have been avoided if it was caught in time.
    When you think a GI is not acting right, have him or her checked out before you put them back on duty and give them a weapon. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a serious and dangerous problem if it is not taken care of right away.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where to look Where to look

    Drive anywhere in Maryland and it seems there is one highway construction project after another. While it is good to see our roads and bridges being upgraded, it can be nerve-wracking for anyone traveling a long distance.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Midterm elections give chance to return to American values

    A movement has been started by veterans of our armed forces to get out the vote in 2014. That includes Coast Guard and Merchant Marine personnel for those not familiar with the history of both and their sacrifice. This is no small special interest  group, but many millions of Americans who can have an enormous impact on the  outcome of the November election if they all respond.

    April 14, 2014