An Open Letter
I wanted to write anther entry about Fan Photo Day and the awesomeness that ensued and about my upcoming trip to Boston and how I don’t get to go to Washington DC, but in light of recent events, this entry was, as Jeff Francis says to Ubaldo Jimenez in the Dodgeball commercial, “necessito!”
This started out as a regular entry, and then a lot of “I’s” and “you’s” kept showing up, so I ended up having to turn it into a letter, or else it’d sound like I was blaming all of you readers for the PED shenanigans.
Dear Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball,
There’s no doubt in my mind that by now you’ve heard all you can from the fans about the use of steroids in baseball. One by one, our heroes seem to be nothing more than a shattered, broken image. A once famous slugger, a once home run record breaker, a once respected player, now nothing more than a tainted record in the history books.
Odds are, you’re not too interested in hearing about my life, but I’ll tell you anyway. In 2004, the first time I came home from college, I arrived at a house where my father’s belongings were not. I found out my parents were separated and getting a divorce, and that was my welcome home from college. After that, I lived on my own for four years while going to school. Now, I’m living with my dad until I can find a place of my own.
I know that both my parents have worked very hard to provide me with what feels like a home, but neither house is; it’s either my dad’s house or my mom’s house, but not my home.
Since seventh grade, I’ve been in an uphill battle with depression. Since moving down to Denver, I can’t find a job, I have no friends down here, and I struggle with my happiness everyday. Most people you meet will wake up looking forward to the day ahead of them; I can barely get out of bed.
As ridiculous as this may sound, the purest joy that I get in my life comes from the game of baseball. I’ve never been happier than when I’m at Coors Field, the Rockies’ ballpark; even when the Rockies are losing, it’s where I’m happiest, it’s my favorite place to be, it’s where I feel home.
Baseball is like my love affair, it’s my light at the end of the tunnel, it’s the only thing that’s mine that I feel like I have truly fallen in love with. Some people fall in love with men, some fall in love with women, and I fell in love with baseball. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
I don’t care about the list of 104 players from 2003; I care about the future of this sport, the future of the greatest game on earth. It’s become abundantly clear that the association is no longer striving to protect the players from themselves, their trainers, or their agents. It’s become abundantly clear that you, as the players association, don’t seem to care about the problem at all.
You and I, we’re a lot alike in the sense that when a problem arises, we tend to ignore it with the hope it’ll just… go away, at least that’s the sense I’ve gotten. Maybe the problem will take care of itself, maybe someone else will take care of it, or maybe sweeping it under the rug will disguise it from everyone else. The difference between you and I is that I’m not a union. I’m one person, I write a blog about baseball, I take pictures of baseball, and I want to stand against steroids. It can’t, and shouldn’t be the responsibility of the fans to take action; it shouldn’t have to be a fan who says, “enough is enough.” It’s time for the words “slugger” and “steroid user” to no longer by synonymous. It’s time that baseball and performance enhancing drugs no longer have a relation. It’s time for you, as the union, to feel the same way I do.
My uncle and I were having a discussion about lying, and he shared with me the quote, “I’m not mad because you lied, I’m sad because I can never trust you again.” I don’t want to have to feel that way about baseball anymore. So players lied, everyone lies, but trust broken can be impossible to gain back. I want to trust the players that I love, I want to trust the sport that I love, and I want to trust you, to keep that responsibility.
I don’t feel like I’m asking too much, I want a win to be a win, I want a record to be a record, and I don’t want to have to suspect either is tainted. I want you as the association to care, I want the integrity of my favorite sport to be in tact by the time I reach 30, and I want a future for baseball, the game that I love.
As far as I could tell, it was a game you were supposed to love too. It’s time to no longer let it be run by a drug that ruins bodies, minds, and records. It’s time for you to remember why you fell in love with baseball in the first place.
Thanks so much,