Little known bright spots in the shadow of a steroids-filled week

Last Thursday the President of the Dominican Republic, Leonel
Fernandez, hosted a luncheon at the presidential palace for Dominican
baseball players.  Among those in attendance were
Julio
Lugo, Neifi Perez, Aramis
Ramirez, Jose Offerman, Ronnie Belliard, Albert Pujols, Julio Santana,
Odalis Perez, D’angelo Jimenez, Juan Carlos Cruz, Alfredo Griffin and
George Bell.  What distinguished this event from similar lunches
in previous years that were hosted by President Fernandez’s
predecessor, Hipolito Mejia, is that the President made the players’
contribution to their country the centerpiece message.  Fernandez
exhorted the players to “be ambassadors of their country and to provide
leadership on important issues the DR faces.”  This coming year
could bring some interesting developments in this regard.

In a related vein, tomorrow The Wall Street Journal is running on its
front page, center column an article describing how Vladimir Guerrero
of the Anaheim Angels has made an impact in his hometown of Don
Gregorio (a factory, a modern supermarket, a hardware store, all with
associated jobs) with a personal investment of about $100.000. 
Hopefully this will
call attention to some of the good works that players undertake at
home.  Surely baseball could use some good news these days, in the
aftermath of the publication of Jose Canseco’s book on steriods.

There is both good and bad happening on the level of the individual players.

The same can not really be said on the macro level. The players’s union and
Major League Baseball 
to get a forceful message about the dangers of steroids out
there.  It is way too little and way too late but certainly better
than the lame denial after denial that has been coming out of the MLB
sound machine.



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