I have very mixed feelings about these hearings. Something needs to be done, there's no doubt about that. I heard a report over the weekend that it is estimated that as many as 500,000 youth are using steroids. There have been reports of suicides among some young athletes who stopped using cold turkey.
I can fully understand why these kids would be tempted. They want to get scholarships and/or make it to the pros and they know that if they don't take steroids then, for many of them, they are at a competitive disadvantage with those who are using the stuff.
There's no doubt Major League Baseball should have acted sooner and more aggressively. Even the plan it has in place now is too lax. If MLB had done the right thing, it probably would not be a Congressional issue.
What I want to know is how all these kids are getting steroids? Who's supplying the stuff? Why isn't this being investigated? Why are so many amateur coaches and parents obviously closing their eyes to this problem? It has to be obvious when a kid looks like a 25-year-old.
If all the commission does is to ask questions of these designated athletes -- and the list does not include Barry Bonds -- then I have to believe the hearings are being conducted for political reasons and for show. And I can understand why some are reminded of McCarthyism.
If the commissioners are truly trying to get to the bottom of the issue, then as "celebrity" as these athletes are, it's only the tip of the iceberg. The problem is that these pro and amateur athletes have taken steroids. The issue that needs to be resolved is how and where it came from. That would really shake things up.