Sports Medley: Baseballís Continuing Controversies
by Tony Medley
After two decades of doing his best to destroy what made baseball
unique, (like desecrating its hallowed records and designating the
league that won the uncompetitive All-Star game as the league with the
home team edge in the World Series) the game is finished with Bud Selig.
So new Commissioner Robert Manfred has decisions to make, some of which
are the following:
Should Pete Rose be in the Hall of Fame?
Rose broke Ty Cobbís all-time hit record but he has been denied the
HOF because he not only broke baseballís hallowed rule by betting on
major league games, he went so far as to bet on games his team was
playing in while he was managing the team! Rose has always
exhibited a keen appreciation for baseballís history, so he knows
that the game was almost destroyed when the 1919 Chicago White Sox
threw the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds by taking bribes
from gamblers. As a result, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis was named
Commissioner and, even though the accused players were found
innocent by a court of law, Landis banned them from the game for
life. This included third baseman Buck Weaver who did not
participate with the miscreants, but knew about it and did not
inform anybody. Rose knew what he was doing and went ahead and did
it anyway. A person like this does not belong in anything called the
ďHall of Fame,Ē no matter how many records he broke.
Should the records made by drug cheats continue to be recognized?
Bud Selig basically ignored the rampant proliferation of the use of
performance enhancing drugs (PED), until forced to take action by
public opinion. The result was the disappearance of baseballís
revered one season home run records of 60 in a 154 game season by
Babe Ruth and 61 in a 162 game season by Roger Maris by people
ramped up on PEDs. When the game finally clamped down on PEDís, the
home run rampage disappeared. The last time anyone hit as many as 50
in a season, much less 60, was 2007 when baseball started enforcing
drug testing. When mediocrities like Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa can
hit more than 60 home runs in a season, you know somethingís
drastically wrong. Barry Bonds hit over 70 home runs in a season
many years after he had passed the prime of his career, and has been
unrepentant about his alleged use of PEDs. Roger Clemens is another
person who has denied using PEDís even though the evidence certainly
indicates that he did. All records recorded by people during the PED
era (roughly 1990-2010) should not be recognized in the record
books. Further, none of the players who used the drugs should be
allowed in the Hall of Fame. As a relevant postscript, shame on the
Dodgers for employing drug cheat McGuire as a hitting coach, and
that shame is not because heís incompetent, which the record
certainly indicates, but because he is one of the poster boys for
the use of PEDs and reluctance to own up to it.
Baseball recently announced new rules to speed up the game. Tune in next
week for more on that.