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Today in the Worst Scandal There Absolutely Ever Was

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In addition to what Travis mentions, the context of the Braun suspension is a definitive illustration of whatever it is that causes people to selectively freak out about steroids, it’s not health.   In my dead tree edition of the Times, the Braun suspension got an A-1 story as well as two separate stories on the front page of the sports section, while the suspension of Von Miller merited a brief blurb in the back on an off-season NFL notes section.*  If health were primary concern, steroid use in the NFL would be the much bigger story, since NFL players getting bigger makes them better to inflict debilitating injuries on each other.  But nobody cares about steroid use in the NFL, and for that matter I’d bet MLB’s “steroids crisis” has received more coverage than the NFL’s infinitely more serious concussion problem.

But again, the selective freaking out about steroids isn’t about health; it’s about people who erroneously believe that records are ever set in neutral conditions and some people who desperately want to believe in the purity of boomer icons as if Ball Four never existed.

I’m also concerned about the apparent coming wave of Biogenisis suspensions for due process reasons.  I can’t really blame Braun for pleading out; better to agree to miss 65 games that you know won’t matter for your team than some indeterminate number that might.  But while MLB might be justified in moving forward based on the rules, I’d be wary, and the potential for someone (like Colon or Carbera) getting convicted twice for the same offense is a particularly troubling possibility.

*CORRECTION: As several commenters have pointed out, Miller is apparently facing suspension for recreational drug use, not steroids; my apoligies for misinterpreting the ambiguous wording.  I certainly stand by my point about the relative disinterest in steroid use in the NFL, but Miller is obviously not a good example of this.

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