Baseball sending wrong message

Published 7:40 pm Wednesday, March 23, 2005

By By SCOTT NOVAK / Niles Daily Star
DOWAGIAC - It appears that baseball was right in fearing the appearance of former and current players in front of a Congressional panel in Washington last week.
The panel was looking into steroid use and when all was said and done, the players looked foolish and baseball had another black eye.
Perhaps the most crushing blow came when Mark McGwire basically refused to answer any direct questions about steroids and if he had used them.
McGwire ducked more questions than if he was being pitched high and tight by Roger Clemens.
In the end one was left to wonder if it wouldn't be better for baseball and its players to admit that steroids have been used and that they are now willing to do something about it. In the court of public opinion, that may have gone a long way toward America embracing the game instead of being appalled by it.
Locally, those associated with Little League Baseball feel that the effects will vary with age.
Craig Wiker, who is a board member with Dowagiac Little League, said that baseball had its chance to police itself when the McGwire issue with Creotine came up.
Wiker added that his son, who is nine is only aware that certain players have broken the rules, but that it would not impact his wanting to go to the ballpark.
Tom Carlson, a former Little League board member and current president of the Dowagiac Athletic Booster Club, noted that he was saddened by McGwire's testimony.
Carlson added that if not controlled it may filter down to below the high school level.