What’s the Point?

I received a voice mail the other day from a friend who also calls the New York Yankees his favorite team.  Yes, we can all get along.  My buddy Craig though was bummed about the A-Rod admission and subsequent shadow cast on his beloved Yankees.  He wondered what’s the point to all of this, and can’t we just move on.

photobucket.com

Courtesy: photobucket.com

A common sentiment from baseball fans, and a safe bet, from the players too.  But the emphatic answer to that question..  NO!!!!

We can’t just move on, forgetful and forgiving.  That’s what led to the steroids era in the first place.  Eyes wide shut gave us Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, and now Alex Rodriguez. 

A vigilant, if late to the game media has created a cleaner game.  The numbers bear it out. The American League home run leader for 2008 was Miguel Cabrera with 37.  That was the lowest league leading total since 1992.  The average number of home runs for a team during a season (163) was its lowest total this decade.

An aggressive media led to the Mitchell Report, which begat Roger Clemens fiasco, and now thanks to Selena Roberts of Sports Illustrated, we have A-Fraud (or if you prefer A-Roid). 

And it shouldn’t stop here.

Rodrgiguez may have admitted using steroids in 2001, 2002, and 2003.  But his answers to softball questions from Peter Gammons were vague, at times contradictory, and caveat riddled.  Stay on him Selena. 

We need the deterrent of a proactive media.  With guaranteed contracts throughout baseball, and teams consistently rewarding players that have tested positive, the only real punishment comes in the form of shame (hurtful to some) and lost sponsors (harmful to all).  Shining the light on players that cheat is the only way to truly lay down the law.

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One Response

  1. Pete-

    Tough couple weeks in my household as two athletes my 12 year daughter has posters of on her wall shamed themselves. I guess the bright side is that they provided an opportunity to have some meaningful discussions with about cheating, choices and how charactor is what you do when you think noone is watching.

    Well written and definitely agree that the issue cannot be ignored, real testing should be done in order to keep the game clean- especially since the heart of baseball are the stats- more so than any other sport. Maybe that’s why it makes such a bigger splash than it seems to do in football.

    However I think that it’s been made clear enough that PEDs were (are?) an issue with baseball and that both the owners and the Players Union dragged their feet so long that they lost the option to police themselves and were forced by Congress to act. Tough lesson to the Union (and the Owners) about overplaying their hand.

    I say institute effective testing and move on- continuing to find who did what will only harm baseball and there is no way to get the whole truth- even if we discover more names of the 104- do we really think McGuire or Sosa are clean just because there names have no come up yet? Unfortunately I think anyone who played is this era will be tainted by those who chose to cheat.

    We’ll still catch up eventually! Best to you and the family! Keep up the good work…we’ll have to get you up to the New Yankee Stadium…assuming I am not priced out of seats by the outrageous ticket prices.

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