Cruel and unusual (and ridiculous) punishment

13 Jan

In a delightful little display of anti-logic, a sports writer named Steve Wilstein on has a proposed punishment for admitted steroid user (and apparently this week’s Worst Person Ever) Mark McGwire:

Baseball should bar him from coaching and never again allow his name on a Hall of Fame ballot.

Hm. Seems a bit harsh, and setting a rather extreme example for the hundreds of admitted users (also no one knows how much they actually help?), but hey, this is your column. I’m still reading. What do you think this punishment would accomplish, sir?

If McGwire’s admissions can serve any good now, it would be to prompt other steroid users to come clean.

So…you’re telling me you think others would come clean after they find out McGwire is banned from both coaching and the Hall ballot? I don’t know if you know how the world works, Wilstein. Though you do deserve some congratulations for mustering up the most amount of hilarious, misdirected rage. It was a competitive field of old, white, holier-than-thou sports writers, and you should be proud.

Taking Wilstein’s logic a bit further, let us ponder a scenario in which his effective punishment tactic could be demonstrated. In this hypothetical scenario, Wilstein is a camp counselor talking to his boss, the camp director.

WILSTEIN: Hey boss, we learned this morning that some of the boys snuck out of their cabins last night and ventured over to the girls’ side of the lake.

BOSS: That is an outrage! Have you caught any of the perpitrators yet?

WILSTEIN: Only one, sir. Tyler from cabin 17 approached me this morning and confessed to his involvement.

BOSS: Well at least he admitted it. I assume you will tell the other boys of Tyler’s admission to try to spur others to follow suit, right?

WILSTEIN: Of course, sir. Already happened. After breakfast this morning, I called an all-camper meeting, and after respectfully asking that other boys ‘fess up as well, I called Tyler to the front of the group and strangled him to death.

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