J.J. Henry and Tommy John
__You have to do testing. It's a perception thing. -- __Tommy John
One of the Tour's good guys, J.J. Henry, did a fundraising clinic for the new First Tee of Fairfield County at Fairchild Wheeler in Bridgeport the other day and there to watch and sign a few autographs was one of baseball's good guys, the great left-handed thrower Tommy John, who now manages the local Bridgeport Bluefish. John, an avid golfer who plays to about a ten (right-handed), loved Henry's rhythm on the tee, especially the acceleration through the ball. Just like pitching, said John. "It's what I tell my pitchers one.......(drawing his arm back slowly).... and two!"
With Tim Finchem and Rick George announcing drug testing programs for the PGA and Champions Tour, Tommy recalled a conversation with then-commissioner Deane Beman years ago. "Back then it was about drugs like cocaine, not steroids. Beman told me, 'We have drug-testing on the tour. It's called the four-footer. Guys that do that stuff can't make those.'" [
Tommy wasn't buying it, then or now.
"You have to do testing. It's a perception thing. If someone does something great, you want to know if it's legit or it's not legit." Like Barry Bonds? The thing about Bonds, says John, is that the same sportswriters who are questioning the legitimacy of his home run record had no problem giving awards to players who the writers knew were doing amphetamines. "When did they get religion?" asked Tommy. "Did Oral Roberts come down and tap em on the shoulder or something?" Can I get an "Amen" ? For a strong statement on the need for drug-testing, check out John Hawkins' column in the new Golf World.
(Photo of John: Bridgeport Bluefish; photo of Henry: First Tee of Metropolitan New York)