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Blog Entry

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

Posted on: March 6, 2009 10:14 pm
 

 

Baseball is a game that is constantly changing. Rules change, ballparks change, uniforms change: everything is changing. And as baseball continues to develop and adjust, so to do the players. Pitchers and hitters alike are always looking for ways to get and stay at the tops of their games. Even back to the days of the spitball, or a little Vaseline under the brim of the cap, players have been looking for that edge. So why all of a sudden is it such a surprise and an issue that baseball players are using steroids? Steroids are like anything else; they are used to make players better. At least that’s what users think they are doing. Players still have to put the work in; steroids don’t make better baseball players, hard workers make better baseball players. Many of the guys who have tested positive did so because of substances that weren’t banned at the time they were being taken. It is absurd to think that a player should be punished for doing something that wasn’t even illegal at the time of use.

What’s even more absurd is the notion that the home run king in baseball isn’t Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds is baseball’s all-time home run leader—no asterisk, just 762. Barry Bonds shouldn’t be a Hall of Famer? Please. If Barry Bonds isn’t elected into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot then baseball’s version of the ultimate glory deserves the asterisk. A Barry Bonds-less Hall of Fame is not a true Hall of Fame. How can baseball justify not allowing the greatest slugger of all-time to not be within the game’s elite, when he did nothing that 103 other players didn’t also do, maybe even more? And how many of those 762 home runs were hit off of pitchers who were juicing? Just because Bonds was a better home run hitter than those other 103 doesn’t make him guiltier. How many minor league players are constantly being suspended for performance-enhancers? They’re not out there driving the ball out of the park 40-plus times every season like Bonds was.

Think about why the names of the other 103 positive testers haven’t been revealed; they were told that the tests were anonymous. Players were being tested because Selig wanted to see how many players were taking steroids, not to catch “cheaters.” Barry Bonds wasn’t suspended.  Alex Rodriguez won’t be either. When players are determined to have broken rules, they are punished. Bonds and A-Rod aren’t rule-breakers, so why are so many people trying to punish them?

Records like the home run record, hits record, stolen base record and others will continue to be broken as players grow stronger, faster and more coordinated. That’s evolution at work. Athletes today are much more advanced in terms of strength and conditioning than they once were. Sure, there were players 50 years ago who were tremendous athletes, but today it seems as if every single one is a physical specimen, save for Prince Fielder, Adam Dunn, David Wells and the like. But none of those guys will ever break major records. They could have years ago, but not anymore.

To be a record holder, a player must possess tools that only top athletes do, guys like Barry Bonds and Rickey Henderson. Yes, Barry Bonds is a great athlete. To deny that notion is to truly not understand the sport at all. Bonds is a member of the 50/50 club, one of baseball’s most exclusive memberships. Not only was he hitting the ball 400+ feet, but sprinting 90 in less than three and a half seconds.  And could do this because of steroids? Not a chance. They may have helped prolong his career, but not to help him perfectly time that sweet stroke of his. And, who’s to say that Hank Aaron wasn’t doping? Steroid testing is new to the sport—brand new, in fact. What about Mickey Mantle or Roger Maris? Of course, many scoff at those notions, but it doesn’t make them any less possible. Just because steroids are more prevalent now doesn’t mean they weren’t around back then, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the top players weren’t using. I’m not suggesting that they were, but before judging Bonds, it must at least be considered.

This is the Steroid Era, and everyone knows it. Babe Ruth was the best slugger in his era. The same applies to Aaron. And Barry Bonds is the best power hitter of the steroid era, no question. When he hit number 756, I stood up and applauded. I’ll do the same when he is elected as a first ballot Hall of Famer. If not, it’ll be a black mark on the game of baseball, and that’s more damaging than any asterisk could ever be.

 

Category: MLB
Tags: Barry Bonds
 
Comments

Since: Mar 20, 2009
Posted on: April 16, 2009 4:42 am
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

Call me old fashioned, but i believe in the notion that sports should be fair to all, Performance enhancing drugs are extremely expensive, so it is unrealistic to believe that all players can afford to use them. I agree with those who said that players have been cheating for years, but we are talking about physically altering your chemical makeup, not just using a corked bat. As steriod users age we will see that they will be lucky to make it to 60 if they continue down that path.

It is important for our youth to be able to look up to these baseball role models and realize that they are real men, and if they work hard enough they can get there. But is it fair to show someone who is artifical and the child know they cannot become by just having talent and drive, no and it is sad that youth know that in order to make it to the majors you are most likely going to have to put your health at a great deal of risk just to hear the announcer state your name.

Steriods may just ruin baseball

 




Since: Feb 1, 2008
Posted on: April 16, 2009 2:19 am
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

 

I agree with your premise, but you need to learn how to write better if you want to make a career out of sports journalism.  The insight is there, but there are too many grammar, punctuation, and stylistic mistakes for the piece to be an easy and enjoyable read.  This is a problem in all of your blog posts so far.  I would recommend taking a look at The Elements of Style by Strunk and White.  Maybe your writing is not as polished as it should be here because it is just a blog.  If so, disregard my criticism.  If not, I highly recommend The Elements of Style.  Either way, good luck in pursuing your goal.




Since: Oct 12, 2007
Posted on: March 22, 2009 11:51 pm
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

 

They moved on.  They retired with "legitimate" stats.  They didn't run to a drug store to prolong their careers through aritifical means.

Hank Aaron is the Home Run King.  Period.

Rok

 

 

please...did you know that Ruth used acorked bat?...did you know that the 50's, 60's and 70's were laced with Performance enhancing drugs...amphtamines...now banned...how about the pitchers that greased up balls?

 

this is just modern day cheating...the HALL OF FAME IS FULL OF CROOKS AND CHEATERS...what makes these guys different?

 




Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: March 16, 2009 9:13 pm
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

Amen brother. I totally agree 100% with you. You don't hear anymore about the tainted ball (now they found another thing to whine about) After all, who are we to judge? Can the doubters hit a 100MPH fastball? Even if THEY do steroids? It takes an eye and perfect timing and a fast bat and well...you know. It takes more then a miraculous pill or a stinger shot to do that for you. And did anybody see that thing on the 1963 San Diego Chargers? If they DIDNT take steroids they were cut. That's right CUT! So if they were doing that in 1963 who's to say they weren't using them in other sports? Such as "Baseball"? 




Since: Nov 2, 2008
Posted on: March 15, 2009 6:23 am
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

 I think they should make them to steroids, and fine em for not taking them... I wanna see homers go outta the stadium, not just over the fence... And corked bats, hell yeah...




Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: March 14, 2009 8:17 pm
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

I can't believe anyone condoning the use of steroids, or any other performance enhancing drugs, could have a clue what sports is about on any level.

Oh, and the operative words there were "performance enhancing drugs."

I consider myself lucky to have grown up in the "old days" of sports, where a little boy latched onto a sports figure and dreamed of being just like him one day when he grew up.  And like so many of those I grew up and realized I didn't have what it took to make it on the gridiron, the ball diamond or the hardcourt.  Guess what?  I didn't sell my soul to the devil and go find a corrupt doctor to sell me a load of performance enhancing drugs so I could fulfill my childhood fantasies.

I became a fan, instead of a player. 

Sosa and MacGuire were on their way out the baseball door because of lessening skills.  Then...VOILA!!!  They show up at spring training looking like Hercules, and started pounding the ball out of the park at a record pace.  PUHLEASE!!!

Bonds and Clemmons are the dumbest though.  They were both considered and proven to be phenomenal athletes, destined for the Hall of Fame on their legitimate skills.  But, they got greedy.  Their egos took over as soon as they crunched the numbers and realized their final numbers might not be enough to set the records in hitting and pitching that they had set their sites on years before.  Their bodies were aging and no amount of time in the gym was going to change that.

All the greats faced that like men...Ruth, Mantle, Koufax, Aaron, Ryan, Marichal, Bench, Morgan, Williams, etc.  In football, the greatest running back of all time, Jim Brown, walked away from the game after just nine years.  His yards per carry average is still untouched.  He knew he would have to retire someday, so he called it before he had to be told he was done.  He didn't do a Lyle Alzado, and pump himself full of junk to the point it killed him.

They moved on.  They retired with "legitimate" stats.  They didn't run to a drug store to prolong their careers through aritifical means.

Hank Aaron is the Home Run King.  Period.

Rok

 




Since: Jan 24, 2007
Posted on: March 13, 2009 2:58 pm
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

Yes the players will get bigger, faster and stronger as the years go on but Bonds and the rest of the steriod boys are all cheats plane and simple.  None of them deserve to be in the Hall of Fame unless they add a wing for steriod users. To say Bonds is a first ballot hall of famer is moronic. You must be injecting steriods in your brain you big dummy




Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: March 12, 2009 2:32 pm
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

Welcome to America!  I guess we earned our reputation as the wild west.  What stone have you been living under to say that using/possessing steroids without a legitimate prescription is not against the law?  They were violating the law to get not just a little edge, but a huge one.  The fact that MLB looked the other way because it benefitted them too, doesn't mean that it is okay to use an illegal substance to gain a significant advantage.  If you don't think you gain a significant advantage (which I can't beleive that there are still people who don't understand that) then read A Very Big League of Their Own and you'll figure it out.  What has happened is that you now have to spend your time trying to justify immoral or unethical behavior by saying "everyone was doing it."  What's worse is that people will now spend their time arguing about who the "real" homerun king should be instead of talking about the smell of the grass and the sound of the ball hitting the bat.  That's why I don't watch it anymore and could care less about it.  Keep spending your money on those losers.  The real problem is that in spite of the fact that you've all been punked, you'll be sitting at some stadium paying twenty five bucks (plus 10 a beer) to watch these guys and support Bud Selig, the biggest joke of all time who not only didn't get fired for allowing the game to be ruined, but actually got a pay raise to 16 million or so!  "Bring me some cracker jacks...and another beer!"




Since: Mar 2, 2009
Posted on: March 12, 2009 1:57 pm
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

 No integrity huh? I don't think that you are even close to realizing how big this is. If you were to expunge everything that the so-called "Freaks" have done then you are quite literally opening the biggest case of Pandora's box the world has ever seen. You might as well forget that the game of baseball existed for the last 20 or 30 years. Who knows how many records and games have been affected by the steroids era and how many men are guilty of taking them. Who knows how many homeruns these guys hit off of pitchers that were juiced up and nobody knew it. To say that I have no integrity is an ignorant statement. I want to see an end to this and I believe what you said above would be the beginning. Get your thoughts straight and get back to me, he who has so much integrity......please




Since: Jan 17, 2007
Posted on: March 11, 2009 11:30 pm
 

Asterisks? Please, Records as Legitimate as Any

Your comments are the most stupid and asinine in history!  You're seriously comparing the different shape and size of ballparks to cheating on the order of magnitude as Bonds' criminality? (yes, that's what it is, even if you fail to recognize it).  Marion Jones had to give back her medals, and Bonds name should be expunged from the record books, as well.  And Sosa, and McGwire, and A-Rod, and all the other steroid freaks.  They are no better than the Black Sox, all of whom were banned for life, and never considered for the HOF.  You guys need to grow up and understand that there should be a thing called integrity, which the freaks have NONE of.  Apparently, you don't either.

 



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