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The Cone of Silence
2003-04-23 11:20
by Jon Weisman

Who watched SportsNight? There was an episode once in which show producer Dana's brother, an NFL player, tested positive for steroids. He faced discipline from the league, plus possible criminal charges. Dana was furious with her brother for being so stupid, but anchorman Casey counseled her that while everyone is coming down on her brother, he could use one person to be his ally, his confidant.

It was a nice episode. A touch naive, perhaps, but heartwarming - in the good sense of the word, not the sappy one.

With Guillermo Mota's DUI arrest, Jim Tracy is turning heartwarming into heart-frying.

If press reports are true, Tracy does not plan to talk to Mota about the incident until after legal procedings are completed.

It's not that Tracy won't discipline Mota now - even assuming he (or the Dodger organization) will discipline him down the road if Mota is found guilty. Tracy won't talk to Mota about it now.

In the Daily News:
"I'll talk to him when the appropriate time comes," Tracy said. "Believe me, I always do that. But right now it's a legal issue, and I'm not a policeman. I'm a baseball manager."

In the Times:
"What's taking place right now is obviously legal in nature, and until it gets to the point it's beyond a legal issue, it's about him and the law," Manager Jim Tracy said. "I don't know all the facts, and I also don't know the circumstances involved.

"Eventually, we'll find out. When we get to that point, then I'll get involved. I'll talk to him when the appropriate time comes. That's what I always do with my players. But we're not there yet."

You know, if I'm off-base on this, let me know. But am I crazy to think that an opportune way to learn the circumstances - as well as offer some perspective and advice - would be to talk to Mota? Regardless of how many yards we've run on the legal course? Are you telling me that just because a baseball manager is not a policeman, he has no business talking to a player about a personal problem?

Is this for real?

Tracy is being idiotic. Honestly, I'm hoping this is just misguided, false posturing for the media. I can't believe this is really his attitude toward a player who makes an outside-the-lines mistake.

Where's an Afterschool Special when you need one?

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