Kidding about Steroids

by Russ Roberts on March 10, 2005

in Sports

Congressional Representatives from the Government Reform Committee announced today that they were just kidding about holding hearings on the use of steroids in Major League Baseball. 

"The whole thing was obviously a joke," admitted Representative Davis the Chair of the committee.  "We didn’t invite Barry Bonds, did we?  We were just kidding.  After all, how could hearings accomplish anything other than give us a lot of face time on national TV and the nightly news?"

Ranking Minority Member Waxman agreed.  "We were never serious about accomplishing anything positive for baseball or children.  We just wanted to start a national dialogue.  We’ve done that.  Now we’re going to get back to our central purposeā€”the business of running the lives of everyday people."

Some have speculated that Congress is simply reacting to the backlash generated by their call for hearings.  After complaints of McCarthyism, the Committee members may have decided that they had misread the benefits of grandstanding and appearing self-righteous in front of some of America’s most popular athletes.

With the hearings cancelled, Major League Baseball has offered the politicians on the committee an alternative means of enhancing their image as courageous warriors for baseball and the children of America.

Representatives from the Government Reform Committee would come to Florida for a nationally televised event.  Democrats would bat left-handed against Randy Johnson and Republicans would bat right-handed against Roger Clemens.  Batters would not be allowed to wear a helmet.  Specially designed ski-boots anchored to the batter’s box would help the politicians from bailing out.  Ticket sales and advertising revenues would be used to fund a Public Service Announcement on the virtues of playing Little League and the benefits from wearing a helmet while batting.

The major networks and the cable news channels have all agreed to carry the event live.  Calls to the offices of Representatives Davis and Waxman were not returned.

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