‘I Didn’t Eat The Cookies,’ As The Crumbs Fell From His Mouth

There were times, as kids, when Mom didn’t want us eating anything, especially sweets, within a certain period of time before dinner, but there always seemed to be huge supplies of Oreos in the cookie jar, or M&Ms in the candy dish, making that request/demand very hard to obey. I don’t know about you, but there were times when temptation won out and I just had to have a handful of my favorite candy, or one or two, or six of those cookies, assuring myself that it wouldn’t spoil my appetite.

I learned at a young age that my parents would, somehow, find out when I did something I wasn’t supposed to do – even though I tried hard to cover my tracks. Fortunately, we’ve carried on that tradition of finding out what our children did when they weren’t supposed to, so I guess it was a well-learned lesson.

One of the ways that I got caught was not remembering that grabbing a handful of M&Ms from the candy dish would diminish the pile. Now, Mom didn’t count every piece of candy, but she was smart enough to see the pile shrink, but hey, as a young kid, who thinks that far ahead when you just want candy? As far as the cookies went, I always seemed to leave that evidentiary crumb somewhere on the counter, on my shirt, or nestled in the corner of my mouth, and as it sat there in full view of Mom’s super magnified, X-ray vision, I tried pleading my case that I didn’t eat the candy or cookies. Lesson learned: Don’t try and put one over on someone who can see through your defense and knows that you’re guilty.

Major League Baseball is once again in the news investigating players who allegedly received PEDs at a clinic in Miami. Now, we’ve been through this before in the Mitchell Report of a few years ago, leading to numerous accused players standing up and adamantly declaring that they did not take Performance Enhancing Drugs. Last year, the National League Most Valuable Player was accused of taking some type of banned substance, and even failed the test declaring his possible use of the substance, but some fancy lawyer saw a loophole in how the sample was handled, so he was exonerated from that accusation. Coincidentally, his name has been linked to this new allegation involving the clinic in Miami. Not to worry though; he said he was just using the clinic for consultation. (I think I see a chocolate crumb on the corner of his mouth).

And what of Major League Baseball’s “Home Run King*” (note the asterisk)? This player admitted to using cream which contained some banned substance, but he said he was unaware that this cream contained any league-banned substances. Another player stood up at the Mitchell hearings, pointed his finger and said he did not take any steroids or Performance Enhancing Drugs, only to have his name found on the list, having being seen performing this infraction.

One player admitted to taking substances, pleaded for forgiveness from his fans and has not been the same player since he got off the juice. Ironically, his name resurfaced, this time on the list associated with the clinic in Miami.

Another player admitted to using a steroid, which at the time was not an MLB banned substance, and virtually responded with a, “So what?” Another was accused of being injected by his accuser, but fortunately all of his money got him a shrewd lawyer, who was able to, after a few attempts, get him acquitted.

Bottom line is that many of these grown men, making ridiculous salaries, who think they’re above laws, rules or expectations, violate those laws, rules or expectations, then vehemently deny that they “ate the cookies” as the crumbs fall from the corners of their mouths.

In the last Hall of Fame vote, no one was voted in by the baseball writers. Many felt/feel, that accomplishments on the field should be the criteria for induction into the HOF; yet the criteria, which is spelled out, includes the player’s record, contributions to the team(s) on which he played, his playing ability, sportsmanship, character and integrity. It doesn’t say they should be judged solely on their accomplishments on the field, or the records they may hold. Like it or not, those are the specifications, and if it lists all these criteria, they should be upheld.

Unfortunately, there are some players, some who I feel were slighted in this year’s HOF ballot that may have been linked to the “Steroid Era,” but may not have used any substances. If rules are written, you follow those rules. It’s black and white. There should be no gray area. If it says, “Don’t do that,” don’t do that. This is a lesson some try to teach their children, that for actions that violate laws, rules, or expectations, there are consequences, and if you choose to dance, and you’re not supposed to, you’ll have to pay the fiddler.

Some say PEDs don’t give players an advantage. Three questions: 1.) Why take them then? 2.) If it says you’re not allowed, by rule, to take them, what makes anyone above those rules? 3.) Should we reward someone who violated established rules by putting violators on pedestals?

Life is full of laws, rules and expectations, and if they’re established and shared with participants, the burden falls on the participants to live by them and/or pay the consequences if they’re violated. Let’s, in all walks of life, make those who are held to rules be accountable for breaking them. Maybe that will keep the cookie jars and candy dishes a bit fuller and save a few appetites before dinner.