February 20, 2008 – Now that pitchers and catchers have reported to all the training camps it seems like you can read a new apology every couple of hours on the Internet. There are all kinds of excuses from “I used it to help heal an injury” to “I apologize but I am not going to say for what”. Bottom line is that all these guys cheated, but to be fair we all know that there has been cheating taking place in baseball forever from the spitball, to the corked bats, to the gouged ball, and the pine tar on the balls and bats. But the steroids and HGH controversy seems to be on a higher level, the public looks on this as a dishonest act versus the other kinds of day to day baseball cheating that we all laugh about when we talk about Gaylord Perry, George Brett, or even Sammy Sosa. I guess we consider the corked bats and the foreign substance on the ball as part of the game but steroids and HGH go beyond what most of us can accept as the little white lies that we all tell and do every day from going 65 on a freeway marked for 55, or maybe taking a tax deduction we are not entitled to, or keeping that extra $10 that was given to us as change by mistake.
So what do we do about this situation? It is a heck of a mess but all we can do now I think is learn from the experience and strive to never let it happen again. There is no point in going back and putting an asterisk next to the various baseball records, you sure can’t go back and change the league standings or take away a World Series trophy. Having said that, in my mind Henry Aaron is still the home run champ, not that chump Barry Bonds who could not carry Hammerin Hanks jock strap on his best day.
The players that have been documented as cheaters should be punished in some way. There are a couple of ways to look at this, we could suspend them and punish their teams and ultimately us fans as well but I am not sure that is the answer. These players cheated so that they could be better, bigger, stronger, and make more money in the game. They didn’t cheat because it would help their team win; they cheated because it would help them personally. So to that end I think baseball should fine each of these players (not the teams) $1 million dollars each and that money should be donated to the local children’s hospitals in the area. If these players were truly sorry for what they did, they would step forth and do the right thing on their own before the league knocks on their door to ask them for their generous donation. Sure, $1 million sounds steep but we need to send a message and hitting the pocketbook is the best way to accomplish that. I think these players probably got an extra million or two along the way due to the steroids and HGH benefits anyway so it seems like a fair deal to me. OK, so who is going to be the first player to step up and do right by us baseball fans?
I have had about all I can take of this steroid and HGH bull and I am ready to read and talk about baseball games and put this steroid and HGH affair on the back burner. PLAY BALL!