Monday, December 17, 2007

More on baseball, Mitchell report...

I won't bore you with a huge list of articles for this week's 'toon. Chances are, if you're interested in this story, you've already kept up-to-date on it. I will bore you with my opinion, though... I take baseball seriously, dammit. The most telling aspect of the story, from my perspective, is that there were no real heartbreaking revelations in the Mitchell report... I already thought most of the guys named were arrogant jerks anyway. There was no Kirby Puckett or Tony Gwynn (my favorite players growing up). No Edgar Martinez or other prominent Mariners on those great teams from the 90's/00's. Just guys like Rafael Palmeiro, Jose Canseco, and Roger Clemens (didn't he try to bean his wife once in a family exhibition game?).

I think the records these guys get and the stats they amass should stand without asterisks or anything, but I don't think they should get into the Hall of Fame. On the one hand, you can't really pretend that the games they played in never happened. Is every hitter who Clemens ever struck out going to get his at-bats back? On the other hand, if Joe Jackson and Pete Rose can't get into the Hall, then there's no way McGwire, Bonds, or Clemens should get in. Joe Cowley makes a good point, when he says, "God forbid we mix the guys rubbing cream on their body with the racists, wife beaters, bat-corkers, adulterers and murder suspects that currently reside in a collection of dust and baseballs that is the Baseball Hall of Fame." However, it would be kind of hard to kick, say, Ty Cobb out of the Hall after he's been in for so many years. The voters still have a choice as to whether or not to let these steroid guys in.

The other point in their favor is that these players are still human, and humans do dumb stuff sometimes. But they're also extremely well-paid humans, and fans have the right to decide whether they like these guys or not. It's here where the real power of the Mitchell report lies... it really has no importance as a legal document. Allen Barra argues that Major League Baseball's real objective was make a public example of these guys, and to turn the steroids scandal into a huge spectacle so Congress would do the real investigating for them.

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