Jim & Bob's Palatial Baseball Blog

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Never Be Together Again

The Younger Heir to the Palatial Baseball Blog came up to me the other day and asked me if what he heard on ESPN was correct: that Jason Giambi admitted he used steroids.

This may seem like a straight-forward question for you, Gentle Reader. But it was a question I had been dreading since Giambi ‘fessed up about the juice.

You see, the Younger Heir is a huge A’s Fan. And has been for two-thirds of his life. Jason Giambi was his favorite back when the slugger was with Oakland, and since my progeny is emotionally developed to understand that he can still like a player even though he’s with a different team, he still roots for Giambi. I will admit that makes him more mature than me, since I don’t think I could root for a Cub who would go on to the Mets (hell, it’s hard enough having Cliff Floyd on the roster).

But I digress…I told my son that yes, Giambi did admit to using steroids.

He paused for a moment that seemed to last a year and a half, and finally asked the question I had been dreading: Does that make him a bad person?

Gentle Reader, I do my best to be a Good Dad™. I’ve dusted off the speech about the dangers of booze, ciggies, and drugs. I’ve outlined the risks (legal, medical, and otherwise) of indulging in these vices. And so the Younger Heir has had it drilled into his skull that steroids are bad, steroids are now against the rules, and winners never cheat and cheaters never win.

So now it was my turn for an eighteen-month-long pause. Finally, I offered a carefully worded answer that no, Giambi was not a bad person. But he was a human being who had made some bad choices, and now he had to live with the consequences of those choices.

The Younger Heir pondered this dubious wisdom and seemed to accept it. But he noted that while he still liked Giambi, he wasn’t sure if Giambi could still be one of his most favorites after this.

This was the point that the whole steroid scandals first really, really pissed me off.

Again, I do my best to be a Good Dad™. As such, I try to shelter both Heirs to the Palatial Baseball Blog from the harsher truths of the world for as long as I possible can, in a probably-vain effort to keep them from becoming sullen cynics until their mid-teens. And that meant letting my kids believe that their heroes really are Heroes™, and not just some typically stupid, messed-up person.

Goodbye to all that now.

I guess I’ve found my breaking point in the steroid debate. I don’t give a rat’s ass about our allegedly hallowed home run records. I do care about my kid’s youthful idealism. Does that make me a hypocrite, given what I’ve posted about steroid use in MLB here? Are they different sides of the same coin?

It’s at times like this I wish I were smart…

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  • It's really tough being a dad these days. But I think you're doing a great job. It's a whole lot easier with cats. lyl

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:28 PM  

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