Friday, December 03, 2004

Baseball Steroid Scandal

I was up late last night (3 am, when Calvin was throwing up), and I had a chance to watch a little late night news shows. I flipped back and forth between CBS and ABC while both were doing stories on the steroid scandal in MLB. Apparently, it will be made known today that Barry Bonds also used steroids.

Both ABC and CBS expressed an opinion that I have also heard on sports talk radio. Their take is that most fans would rather not know if their "heros" were taking steroids. They suggested that all fans care about is the long ball, the home run. And if steroids will help a player (Bonds, Giambi) hit more of them, fans would rather turn a blind eye to it, pretending that all is bliss.

I could not disagree more. What every sports fan wants is a fair and fun competition. If at the end of that competition, a fan's team ends up on top, that is awesome. If not, at least it was fair and fun. What has happened when the competition hasn't been fair?

Think about the Ohio State victory over Miami a couple of years ago on a ref's questionable call.
Think about the 72 Olympic game between the US and USSR.
Think about how Chicago Cubs fans treated Bartman for interfering in a playoff game.
Think of Browns fans raining beer bottles on the field when refs stole a game.

If a player is cheating, fans want the cheater to be dealt with so that the competition can be fair and fun.

I believe that all players who use steroids should be banned from the Hall of Fame and should have their records stripped from them. In my mind, Mark MacGuire is now (once again) the home run champ, but I suspect he will be named in the Balco trial too. The use of performance enhancing drugs is a far worse offense than gambling on baseball. Barry Bonds should be treated as Pete Rose has.

Something tells me, though, that Bud Selig and MLB won't step up to the plate on this one.

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