Monthly Archives: December 2015

It’s not the Steroid Era, it’s the Steroid War


Rosenthal: Bonds, Clemens are on my Hall of Fame ballot for first time. Christian Petersen/Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images


I like Ken Rosenthal. Usually, I am in the choir singing along as he tells us his wonderful stories in the church of  baseball. Today, I stopped singing and cried out, “WHAT!” To further the metaphor, I made him stop and tell me what the hell was going on. He said it again. I knew I had heard right, but I was hoping, praying that he had misspoken or was making some obscene joke. No, it was true. He voted for Bonds and Clemens for baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Now, as the shock has worn off, I help the nice lady who has fainted back on her feet. Ken explains a message of nonjudgment. That it was a personal struggle to make this choice and a struggle all the way to the mailbox to send in the ballot. A message that the players have been punished enough, that like the “The Scarlet Letter,” the letter “S” is on their records forever and will probably prevent them from ever truly getting into the Hall of Fame. That it was time to stop and let go.

Ken, it was a wonderful article. I know because I read it three times, and you know what else I read was “The  Scarlet Letter,” and in end, the “A” no longer meant an adulterer but an angel. Baseball is coming up on a dangerous time. With enough time, people forget the impact this has on the game. It has already happened with Pete Rose. People make their justifications. Do we make some more? Yes, there is no “proof” that anyone did anything.

It’s already happening in the Steroid Era. Bonds is a hitting coach, and McGwire is a bench coach. Without saying a single word, MLB and the teams that hire these guys are saying to young players everywhere it’s OK to break the rules. We will forgive you. If you play good enough, there will be no consequences for your actions.

Ken, I do appreciate where you are coming from. It’s unfair to convict a player of a crime without any evidence. If this were a law case, I would be on your side. But this is not about the law; this is about public perception. The Steroid Era makes it sound like some dark thing in the past, but it is not something in the past. It is a terrible problem NOW. And now it’s a battle, now it’s the Steroid War. In war, it is a constant battle between good and evil, between fair and unfair.

According to Baseball America, there were 6 minor leaguers this MONTH who tested positive for PEDs. More than 30 for the whole year. Ken, you might have conceded a battle, but the war still goes merrily along.

Twitter the night before Christmas MLB style


Author Note: I was on Twitter last year the night before christmas and all the web not an account was stirring when out like a flash, the Phillies official account started and the laughs began on Red and Rockies and MLB and then the Pirates tried to close it out but the Reds got to say “Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

Here is last year’s post:
Were you on Twitter? , If you were, you would have seen the MLB teams had some fun and the fans had some more fun reciting the famous Christmas poem by, Major Henry Livington Jr,  which also called Account of a Visit from Saint Nicholas. The official accounts of  Phillies, Red, Astros, Rockies, Cubs, Mariners, MLB and more got into the mix. So my gift to you on this the merriest of nights.

Pete Rose Stikes Out Again.



“Mr. Rose’s public and private comments, including his initial admission (in his 2004 book), provide me with little confidence that he has a mature understanding of his wrongful conduct, that he has accepted full responsibility for it, or that he understands the damage he has caused,” -Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Today, justice was served. Thank you Commissioner Manfred for upholding the true values of the game of baseball. For me, I have no happy memories of Charlie Hustle. As a kid, I watched the numerous reports and interviews about Pete Rose. I saw the pain in my father’s face as his hero’s image shattered like a hammer to a mirror. To this day, when I see a video of Pete Rose playing, I wait for a news report on his latest actions.

To the Baseball Writers Association of America, this is not a Hall of Fame candidate. We do not need to teach young ballplayers that rules don’t matter. We don’t need to teach that the passage of time combined with someone’s phenomenal playing ability equals forgiveness.

I close with another quote from Commissioner Manfred.
“In short, Mr. Rose had not presented credible evidence of a reconfigured life either by an honest acceptance of him of his wrongdoing, so clearly established by the Dowd Report, or by a rigorous, self-aware and sustained program of avoidance by him of all the circumstances that led to his permanent ineligibility in 1989,” wrote Manfred, who also stated that Rose’s reinstatement would be an “unacceptable risk” to the integrity of the game.

Barry Bonds Bad for Baseball


In Ken Burns “Baseball,” there is a story about Ty Cobb going into a liquor store, and Shoeless Joe Jackson was at the register. Cobb recognized Jackson and asked, “Hey, don’t you know me?” Jackson’s response was, “Of course, but I didn’t think you would want to know me.”

That was then. Now, it’s different. Known cheaters are all around baseball, and they’re on television, telling us their stories, giving their opinions of how the game should be played. I seem to be the only one who sees the white elephant in the room. Why would I want to listen and see someone who would cheat at the game I love? I would not. I do not. They need to go away. But there is something worse than that. Known cheaters are now becoming coaches. Such is the case with Barry Bonds, who is now the hitting coach for the Miami Marlins.

There is no fading into the background for Bonds. Instead, he will be in a position of influence, to young, hungry players, who even before they step into a major league park will have the wrong mentality of playing the game of baseball. That the rules don’t apply. Can you imagine what would happen to a young ballplayer who thinks that the rules don’t apply to him?

Bonds and the others from the steroids era bother me because it’s not just a breaking of the rule. We all break rules. We speed and skip a stop sign. Yes, people do that. That is different than having a cheater mentality. My definition of the cheater mentality is that one day a person woke up and made a decision that winning was more important than the rules. Before any needle, before any drug even touched their body, they decided that to win, the rules didn’t apply to them and they were going to take any steps necessary to win.

Now, here is something even more scary. Let’s put these people in positions of power. Make them hitting coaches and bench coaches. Make them managers. Make them general managers. Where does it stop?