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hall-of-fame-vs-steroids-etc | March | 2005 Articles

2005 Archives

Hall of Fame vs. Steroids, etc.

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I can't keep quiet any longer. I've tried to avoid any news of baseball's steroids controversy. It hurts the fans of the game who simply watch to be entertained. Notice the emphasis in that previous statement. That's right, people. Baseball is only a game, and Major League Baseball is only part of the entertainment industry. A handful of the Hall of Fame voters are refusing or will refuse to vote for Mark McGwire, Barry Bonds, and others because they supposedly "enhanced their performance", whatever that means. Guys have been hitting gyms, drinking protein shakes, taking cortizone shots, and playing dirty to enhance their performance since MLB was founded. The Baseball Hall of Fame is full of racists, philanderers, drug addicts, gamblers, and others of disreputable character -- and do you know why? Because it's a baseball hall of fame! Not a moral fiber hall of fame. Not a Christian-conservative-values hall of fame. A baseball hall of fame. Babe Ruth did much worse things during his playing career than Mickey Mantle (alcoholic), Pete Rose (gambler), and Jose Canseco (substance abuser) combined. Granted, Mickey Mantle is a hall of famer, but consider Ruth's off-the-field legacy during his playing days. By no means was he a fine role model for America's youth, but it's quite clear that he earned his way into the hall of fame by virtue of his prolific performance on the field. But times have changed. Playing baseball well has much less to do with one's entry into the baseball hall of fame than ever before. And despite the title -- hall of fame -- fame has nothing to do with it. What a sham! It takes a special subclass of morons to disallow the all-time hits leader or the two all-time single-season home run leaders entrance into the baseball hall of fame for such irrelevancies as gambling and drugs! It never stopped anyone before! Regardless of how players achieved their statistics, what matters is what they did on the field. Inasmuch as off-the-field criteria affect one's hall of fame eligibility, the "baseball" in "baseball hall of fame" is being removed. As a fan of the game since I was old enough to comprehend it, this pains me, but the baseball hall of fame means almost nothing to me now. What we're seeing today is a bastardization of what was once a great idea. And aside from all of that, I think Congress has more important things to worry about than Major League Baseball players using or not using performance-enhancing drugs and supplements. Like, say, military engagements and budget appropriations.
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