Thursday, June 8, 2006

No Joy in Mudville

No less a group of philosophers than major league baseball players have been weighing in on the Jason Grimsley saga. Faced with the prospects of seeing one of their own lose both his source of income and integrity, they have rallied around the guy. Oh ... did I say he lost his integrity? Read on:
PHOENIX - As Jason Grimsley's career screeched to a halt in the Dimaondbacks clubhouse, in the Phillies' room Sal Fasano shook his shaggy head in sorrow. "It hurts my heart," Fasano said.
"One thing about Jason is, he's a man of integrity," Fasano said - Grimsley's alleged cheating notwithstanding. Fasano pointed more toward Grimsley's departure and his naming names: "He's going to tell the truth. That's what he does."
Chicago White Sox reliever Jeff Nelson was upset Grimsley apparently identified several other players as using performance-enhancing drugs in an affidavit filed by IRS special agent Jeff Novitzky. "[Taking steroids] is something that's wrong to do, obviously. But to go and start throwing other guys under the bus is definitely wrong as well," says Nelson. "Take the blame. You should take the hit and not have to be putting it on anybody else or [saying], 'Hey I got caught with it. I think I'm going to bring some other guys down with me.' That's what's wrong."
Is that what's wrong? I'm not sure I agree. Maybe what is wrong is players earning more money than teachers and doing whatever they believe to be morally right in order to continue to earn the money. They are paid so much to play a game for our entertainment, that morality and propriety go out the window. Now, the backlash of the so-called "rat" is rearing it's head, and the players whom Grimsley supposedly identified are firing back at him for telling the Feds.
If Nelson believes that using steroids is wrong, then it is wrong regardless. There is a reason that the players are scared of Grimsley's disclosure. After all, if one has integrity, as Fasano said, his sense of honor will lead him to do the right thing. And, as far as integrity is concerned, here is what Wikipedia has to say about it:
Integrity comprises the personal inner sense of "wholeness" deriving from honesty and consistent uprightness of character. Integrity is holding true to one's values. Said another way: being one's word; doing what you said you would do by when or how you said you would do it. Integrity is knowing what is important to you and living your actions accordingly.
So, when we examine this issue, words like integrity may be the last ones we should be using. Grimsley knew that his earning potential was the only important thing, and lived his actions accordingly, even if it meant he had to break the law to do it. It is a difficult issue, and the last thing we need are the offenders engaging in a philosophical debate over the actions of the worst of the bunch.

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