What is significant is language in the legislation that could bring homicide charges with the sale of the drug if someone dies of an overdose. This means longer sentences for the sale of heroin, which should slow down activity.
There is also an approximate $8 million annually for prevention and recovery programs. This is important. Heroin use can take over an economy if enough people fall victim to it. The state had to take a strong step. These measures are not law yet, but they are on their way.
What these measures will also bring is an easier way to convict drug dealers. The State Senate does not always get it right, but this is a good way to take fast action on a drug that is, by no means, recreational.
So many of our homeless wound up in that predicament because of drugs like this. This is a way to head-off problems that will eventually require more government.
The Numbers Matter - Sometimes
As of Sunday evening, Yankee designated hitter Alex Rodriquez is five hits away from 3,000.
Three-thousand hits is a tall feat. To get there, one has to remain in the majors for a long time, let alone be a consistent hitter. In 2007, the Yankees, following a season where he was honored with the Most Valuable Player award, gave him a mega contract that extends through 2017.
It is the kind of contract that Yankee general manager Brian Cashman has said will not be a regular thing going forward. Part of Rodriquez’s deal has milestones built into it, such as the one where he gets $6 million for surpassing Willie Mays on the all-time home run list. The Yankees have balked at paying it, since their superstar came up positive for using performance-enhancing drugs.
This is old news, but what is ongoing is the constant chatter on Yankee broadcasts about Rodriquez’s milestone pursuits. More specifically, it is Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay who gushes over the idea that Rodriquez is rapidly approaching 3,000 hits.
Since returning to the Yankees after a year-long suspension, Rodriquez has handled everything the right way. He apologized and took to his new position of designated hitter well. He is part of why the team is at the top of the standings.
The issue is no longer about Rodriquez, it is about the statistics. In baseball, the numbers matter. The stats, such as 61 home runs in a season or 715 home runs lifetime, were - and still are - important to baseball fans.
So where does this leave us with statistics? If Roger Maris had to live his life with an asterisk next to his famed 61 home runs because the season was expanded to 162 games, all of these players using PEDs should at least have that next to their numbers.
There is a reason why 715 home runs was not toppled for so long - it’s hard to do. Sixty-one home runs and 3,000 hits are hard to accomplish. Rodriguez would probably have gone into the Hall of Fame easily without any chemical help. The same can be said for Manny Ramirez.
But if you want a spot in baseball folklore, you need to do it the same way the other guys did. We love the game because so many parts of it are unchanging. It is the same game that was played 100 years ago, save for a few adjustments.
One part of the game that should not have changed is the purity of the players. For this reason, Rodriquez’s contributions this year are most welcome, but these personal milestones do not matter.