This past weekend the Major League Baseball inducted three new members to its Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York: Jacob Ruppert, Deacon White, and Hank O’Day. Now we’re not going to take the time to discredit the contributions of these three men to the sport, but I will take this time to point out baseball’s continued hypocrisy in regards to the steroid era, its reluctance to fix the voting process, and another lost opportunity to take air-time from an NFL juggernaut that just began playing football in shorts (training camps) this past week.
if you didn’t recognize any of the names that were inducted don’t worry, one was the Yankees first owner who took over in 1915, another was a catcher two centuries ago, and the last was a retired player/umpire whose last game appearance was in 1890.
Needless to say, Cooperstown wasn’t a big draw this weekend.
Baseball continues to miss opportunities to promote the sport appropriately and the more they miss these opportunities the further behind they fall in national relevance. Baseball didn’t lack marquee match-ups this weekend, the National League leaders of the East (Braves) and Central (Cardinals) squared off in Atlanta. The Yankees, Rays, Orioles, and Red Sox faced each other, jockeying for position in the American League East. Key series in Texas (Rangers/Indians) and Los Angeles (Dodgers/Reds) would continue to shape races in the American and National League Western and Wild Card races. Yet the national pastime was overshadowed in the headlines by a 20-year old getting kicked out of a frat party and the Gold Cup final in soccer. Baseball did, however, continue to allow the ongoing saga that is dragging its feet on the issue of PEDs and whether they are going to do the right thing or not continue.
My anger starts with the hypocrisy of the BBWAA, who continue to take a hard-line on the Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens of the world because they feel the integrity of the game is at stake; yet fail to recognize players like Tim Raines, Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Edgar Martinez, and Jack Morris. Never mind the crooks, racists, and other bad people already in the hall, what about the good guys who played the game right and put up impressive numbers along the way that they choose not to recognize for whatever reason. If the numbers that modern-day players have put up have been inflated by PEDs that are rampant in the sport, why continue to overlook great players (living players) that did it the right way without cause?
Then there’s Bud Selig, who has done great things to progress the cosmetics of the sport (division realignment, Wild Cards, Playoff re-formatting) and has also done some things that make very little sense. Case in point was allowing this PEDs suspension to drag out. Then allowing Ryan Braun to negotiate a sweet deal to sit out the rest of a lost Brewers season, pay a $3 million dollar fine, and star 2014 fresh and prepared to collect the balance of his $120 million dollar payoff from a franchise and organization he swindled. Now we’re talking about Alex Rodriguez possibly being allowed to do the same thing.
Where is the punishment? Stop slapping these players on the wrist and show the American public you truly mean business when you say you want to clean up the sport. If Pete Rose can’t get a phone call back after applying for reinstatement over 15 years ago why do these players get a pass? Do I condone gambling over PEDs? No. But Kenesaw Landis set the tone for what gambling gets you in major league baseball, when will Bud take note and do the same for this issue?
the BBWAA needs to figure out their criteria, Bud needs a harder line. Until then I’ll consider everything else lip service.