Home > Uncategorized > When all’s said and done, steroids in baseball may be on par with the 1919 Black Sox scandal.

When all’s said and done, steroids in baseball may be on par with the 1919 Black Sox scandal.

The worst of times? Not Bonds’ assault on history by Timothy Gay (ESPN.com)

In this article by Timothy Gay of ESPN.com, the argument is presented that Barry Bonds passing Babe Ruth on the all-time Home Run Leaders list isn’t the worst thing to happen in baseball. In that point he’s absolutely correct; at the beginning of the 20th Century, baseball was rife with criminal influence, and the fix was in on more than a handful of occassions. However, I could only come to one conclusion after reading this article.

Some people just don’t get it, and perhaps even more importantly don’t get where the real dilemma resides.

The author of the article is comparing two completely different worlds. The world of the 1919 Black Sox and Tris Speaker doing all but openly announcing he was throwing games was baseball in its infancy. This was before Babe Ruth, before Jackie Robinson, and when “America’s Pastime” was playing the game rather than watching or following it on a professional level. The argument that fans should not be as upset as they are because a notorious racist threw a game 87 years ago is as ridiculous as it reads.

The current situation has to be exmained in its context. Players breaking records with the assistance of illegal performance-enhancing drugs is every bit as bad as The Chicago White Sox throwing the World Series in 1919. It has tainted (and will continue to taint) records, careers, and quite possibly the integrity of the past ten or more seasons. “Cream and clear” is the new fix; the means by which an individual can ensure through unethical and illegal means that an honest result is not achieved in the game of baseball.

Barry Bonds is certainly no worse than Ty Cobb and Mugsy McGraw, but he sure as Hell isn’t any better either. Bonds and the players at the turn of the century that we know for certain threw games deliberately cheated because they thought at the time they could get away with it. To myself, the throwing of the World Series in 1919 appears on the surface to be far worse than injecting steroids into your system so that you can hit more home runs. However, looking at both placed in their proper contexts, I’m not so sure anymore.

Additionally, there’s the argument that considering how underpaid players were in the early twentieth century and how much players in this day and age make, those who threw games in 1918 might have more justification for their actions than someone who makes ten million dollars a season or more (downside alone) and is on the juice. That’s certainly not to say that guys like Ty Cobb get a pass, but if you’re going to justify one and not the other, I have to call horseshit on that.

Oh, and don’t let Barry Bonds crying on his ESPN reality show sway you. What we preceive to be genuine emotion may very well just be heightened estrogen levels.

More later…

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  1. May 9, 2006 at 7:53 pm

    I understand bending the rules. I don’t like it, but it’s here to stay. But look, you get caught, take it like a man. Or at least take it like a NASCAR crew chief and say “I wasn’t doing anything that the other guys don’t do. I just got caught this time.”

    But there’s no reason to throw a WS anymore when a left-handed specialist who throws 25 pitches a week makes more than anyone I know personally.

    The reason baseball is special is that the numbers mean something. Take that away and you’ve got golf with spitting.

    And quit playing the race card, Barry. I’m sensitive to this stuff when it’s legitimate. That guy who’s record your chasing went through twice what your’e going through *exclusively* because he was black and the guy he was chasing was white. Nobody thought he was cheating, they just thought he was black.
    You’re getting what you’re getting because you’ve been cheating like a madman and avoiding getting caught. Which is the American way, really, but you’re being a tool about it. Lack of proof does not mean it didn’t happen.
    You’re black and so is Hank Aaron. Stick your race card up your ass.

    • May 9, 2006 at 8:06 pm

      Well put.

      And he doesn’t just play the race card, but the victim card as a whole. According to Barry, people hate him because he’s a black man, because he’s a scapegoat, because there’s a witchhunt, because he doesn’t get along with the media, etcetera. If I didn’t know he’s just making stuff up to cover his ass, I’d probably suspect he was clinically paranoid.

      • May 9, 2006 at 8:17 pm

        For that matter…

        Match the following baseball personalities to their bending of the rules, and the punishments received at the time.

        – Dominican slugger with dark complexion and questionable English proficiency.
        – Redheaded Pomona California native.

        A) Used muscle building substances that were legal at the time of use (and maybe some other stuff — Nobody proved it and he’s not here to talk about the past)
        B) Used corked bat during game and was caught red-handed doing so.

        1. Slap on the wrist.
        2. Full-blown media crucifiction, including the dreaded asterisk debate.

        {Edward G. Robinson}
        Yeah! How’s your race card now?

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