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.

MLB owners: I want the Nets!

Brett Lawrie sent these flowers to Tonya Carpenter

I am not going to show the gruesome pictures. You have seen them, and you don’t need me to show you.  My thoughts and prayers go out to Tonya Carpenter, and I wish her a speedy recovery. Her injury brings up the question of more protection for the fans. Lawrie used a maple bat, which is stronger and breaks less than, say, an ash bat. But when it breaks, well, we all see what happens when it breaks. I personally would like to see the maple bats go.  MLB is talking about stadium improvements, with more nets from home plate to at least to the dugout.  Owners have rejected this twice, in  2007 and 2012 during labor agreements. The players want more netting. The owners don’t want to obstruct the view.

You mean this view:

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Yes, that’s me, on the first row. No nets right by the on-deck circle.  No, Joey Gallo didn’t hit me with his bat, but he came pretty damn close.  I did not eat during the game; I would take a drink between pitches. I watched every ball leave the bat. You see that black thing in the bottom of the picture? That’s my glove, which I would put on. I’d be as poised as an infielder to get a hot grounder that came my way.

I even joked with my fellow ticket holders. “I am going to eat now (an hour before the game) because I know if I try to eat during the game, right when I am eating a hot dog, that’s when a ball will come right to my face, and that’s what will be on Sportscenter.”

No one besides me had a glove. There was the person to my left who was grateful I had a glove and told his buddies.

“She’s going to protect me.”

This is not the first time I have protected my fellow fans. I always bring my glove, and I always pay attention. My dad taught us that while we were growing up. While it was nice to watch the game, there was an element of being on guard that exhausted me, and when the game was over, I wanted to go home and relax.

I am a fan, and I paid good money to sit up close. I want the nets! While I am here asking the MLB fairies for things, I also want maple bats to go away. And players to come up and down the baseline and interact with the fans.

Let me be clear on Tonya Carpenter. I do not blame her. If there is any blame, it is on MLB, which does not make it clear how dangerous it is to sit close at a game. I think there needs to be rules like no babies and no small children. I almost want to say that everyone should bring a glove. but that’s not a foolproof plan. A glove is a safety device only if you know how to use it.

Let me say it again in crystal-clear terms : To the MLB owners: I WANT THE NETS!!!!!

For more information on this check out: http://www.foxsports.com/mlb/story/boston-red-sox-fenway-park-mlb-broken-bat-injured-fan-safety-netting-060715