As we await the long, agonizing attempt to prove Barry Bonds knowingly lied about using steroids, which will end in a common-sense-defying hung jury if it’s not tossed out earlier, here’s another in my series called “Literary Reflections on Real-Life Issues.” It’s from the best utterly ignored novel I’ve ever read, Scott Lasser’s Battle Creek (highly recommended, and not just for baseball fans):
“Smartness in baseball is strength, strength to subtract, strength to do what it takes,” Bailey told him as he threw.
“Even cheat?” Mercer asked.
“Cheat? Hell, cheating is a baseball tradition. You get away with what you can get away with. You think Gaylord Perry* stays awake at night worrying about his soul? In baseball, cheatin’ ain’t cheatin’. It ain’t cheatin’ until you get caught. You’re supposed to cheat. That’s why they got umpires, to make sure you’re good at it.”
Well, that’s one point of view, I guess. Wonder if any attorneys will be reading those lines to the jury?
*legendary spitball pitcher