Jays From the Couch brings you a VIDEO commentary on MLB, Eric Thames, P.E.D and domestic violence in the first of our JFtC Got Beef series
Hello Blue Jays Fans! Welcome to Jays From the Couch Got Beef! This is a new series on our YouTube Channel that will provide commentary on issues, as we see them both about the Toronto Blue Jays and MLB at large. This first one uses Brewers’ slugger, Eric Thames as a backdrop for a discussion on the hypocrisy that abounds in MLB.
We present the video version, as well as the written version below.
Recently, there has been some rumblings about Eric Thames that need to be addressed. That’s right, I got beef!
If a guy comes out of nowhere to hit a ton of home runs, people automatically assume he is cheating. He must be on some kind of performance enhancing substance. I mean, he must be, right? He was cast off by the Blue Jays for next to nothing a while back. The Mariners let him go, he had to go all the way to Korea to play baseball. He was obviously terrible.
In Korea, he put up insane video game numbers and won the KBO MVP, which he was able to turn into a 3 year, 16 million dollar deal with the Brewers.
There were whispers (some louder than others) that Thames would be a great fit to return to Toronto. Those whispers turned into screams as the first month of the season has played out and Thames has gone berzerk, hitting 11 homers and driving in 19 runs for the Brew Crew.
Even though, Thames faced rigorous testing in Korea, the same testing as in the Olympics, Reporters were right on cue, he was faced with answering the cheating question. To his credit, he handled it in stride. He said he would be available any time; that he has lots of blood and urine to offer…Ew.
Anyway, this is what has grabbed my attention. Why do people automatically jump to the conclusion that a player is cheating when he does surprisingly well? Remember the talk of Jose Bautista when he burst into elite slugger status?
People treat it like it is the gre;atest sin a baseball player can commit. And, it isn’t confined to baseball either. Eugenie Bouchard had something to say about Sharipova returning to tennis. Apparently, cheaters should be shunned.
Can we talk about the hypocrisy in that? We want to banish those who take a banned substance, known or otherwise. They get suspended for 80 games, half a season, which is understandable in the context of keeping a sport clean.
The problem is that this stance falls flat on its face when you put it in the context of what happens to those guilty of domestic violence. They get less than half the punishment, are able to sign incredibly lucrative contracts and all is forgotten.
Come on. Can we really call a sport clean when it is so dismissive of having such filth take place? One could argue that players who sink to domestic violence and have it swept under the rug are a far bigger disgrace to the game of baseball. They certainly are not role models for our children.
But, perhaps, this comes from the old school mentality of baseball. While chemically enhanced performance is a relatively new phenomenon in the game, you can’t tell me that domestic violence is. We can likely safely say that it has been happening for as long as baseball itself.
But, it has gone ignored forever. It is just what happens sometimes. It hasn’t been talked about, and certainly hasn’t been punished. People have gone on for years like it hasn’t been a thing. It’s just the way it is…a tradition of sorts.
Baseball is a sport of tradition. You don’t have to look very far for proof of that. Heck, guys in ugly, bright suits are on the TV telling us that celebrations and whatnot should be silenced. Shut up and play the game and walk back to the dugout. Respect the game.
Respect the same game that takes itself so seriously that it cares more about players popping a pill (accidentally or not) to get an edge than it does about a guy popping his wife. Don’t get me wrong, I love baseball. I love playing it, I love watching it and I love writing about it. I love it so much that I implore them to balance their priorities.
Stop making PED a glorified witch hunt. Stop treating domestic violence like it is merely an inconvenience. Stop coming on my TV and telling young, talented, exuberant players to shut up and respect the game.
It’s Sunday. Can you smell that beef?
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.