MLB: Let the Players Play Ball, No Need for Outside Distractions

Wendy AdairAnalyst IJuly 31, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 26:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets signs autographs during batting practice before playing the New York Yankees on June 26, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Baseball players today earn more money than most of us can even imagine but, also have more pressure on them being in the public eye.

Recently, this microscope has been more glaring than it should be, thanks to the media and the way it leaks some information but holds back other information that the fans need to know about such as injuries.

The Mets have weathered more this season with the barrage of season threatening injuries and off-field distractions with upper management/media relations than they have in a long time and it does have to take its toll on the players.

Yesterday, it was revealed that David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were on a list of PED users from 2003, before those drugs were illegal in Major League Baseball.

David Wright and Alex Cora of the Mets were questioned about it and their reactions were polar opposites of each other. The Daily News reported player reactions to this news yesterday.

Wright was clearly tired of the whole thing and was extremely annoyed at being asked for the umpteenth time about the "cheaters" and who took what when during the Mitchell Report allegations.

Last night, Wright did something completely uncharacteristic and turned away from a reporter and proceeded to glare at him when pressed for an answer.  David Wright is the face and voice of the Mets and is typically very polite and forthcoming to the media.

Rhon Wright, who is David's father, is an Assistant Chief with the Norfolk Police Department and he has been with narcotics and vice areas within the department since he was an officer.

Obviously it was something that David and his three younger brothers grew up knowing that drugs are wrong and illegal, so he cannot let on for one second that it should be tolerated at any level even if he is friends or teammates with the accused players.

Cora was teammates with both Ortiz and Ramirez so he obviously saw things different than Wright who was in the Minor Leagues at the time of the steroid era.

Cora was more aloof about the names being leaked and said "it is what it is, its a distraction, but its baseball." As an established veteran, Cora does know more about playing during the era where steroid use was commonplace but somehow accepted.

Enough has been written about the steroid issue, that's not what this article is for, the players need to take care of their own business on the field and should not get dragged in to answering for these outside influences.

Young fans idolize these players and will wait for hours for autographs and even some pictures and conversation with their role models. 

The younger players even idolize the veterans, whether they are still active or not in baseball, and hearing that their role models as rookies were cheating has to be upsetting.

The media wants player reaction to these news items and the inevitable answer is "I'm just here to do my job, i can't get involved in things I have no control over."  This is a very honest answer, they know they are getting paid to play and are being watched by millions of fans, and it is the fans who do suffer most in the process.

Something the media fails to realize or acknowledge is that professional baseball players are their own fraternity and will have each other's backs no matter what team they play for, or even what league they represent.

They can understand things about each other that most fans could never wrap their brains around, and in many cases, players are associated with so many organizations that some names that come up with illegal activity may have been a former teammate.

Let the game go on and leave the players alone about these issues, they don't need the distractions, their fans are depending on them to play and live good lives.