It's fashionable for smarty-pants baseball bloggers to bash MLB.com writers as mere apparatchiks for the league. Look left and you'll see that I refer to it as Pravda. To be honest, however, it's a cheap and easy joke, and one that isn't really deserved. Yes, MLB.com is often late or MIA when it comes to stories that may give baseball a black eye, but they do a pretty decent job over there. At the very least I find their shilling to be was less prevalent and obvious than much of what you see over at ESPN.
Proof of that can be found in Alyssa Milano's blog post from yesterday, in which she lays into baseball over steroids:
A grand jury, a congressional committee, a tell all book and still . . . this topic is being white washed by the league and the players union. Perhaps, this is a direct reflection of the trickle down effect of our government’s capacity to cover up and deflect the major issues that face us politically. Perhaps, it’s true what my brother says: “Baseball is a mirror to our country.”
Before MLB can solve this issue they need to recognize the problem and apologize for it. If any employee of any major entertainment corporation were to act inappropriately and offend or alienate their audience, the CEO would apologize on behalf of the company. Why is it so hard for Bud Selig to say, “I apologize for the steroid era. We made a mistake with our complacency and we are taking the appropriate measures to make sure the future game of baseball is played with dignity and integrity.”
As of today, I believe MLB.com's "This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs" disclaimer much more than I did yesterday.
I also have a bit more respect for Alyssa Milano's blogging chops. It's an analogy that has been made before, but the notion that steroids-is-to-baseball as botox-is-to-entertainment hits a bit harder coming from an actress who, come Christmas, will be closer to 40 than 30.
I am a bigger fan of her more subtle point that the need for baseball's apology is based just as much in the contempt its current head-in-the-sand stance shows for the fans as it is in competitive integrity on the field.
Good show, Milano.