So in the last article, we talked about why we are more intelligent than asterisks.
2. PED's do not normally make you a better ball-player.
So we had the Mitchell Report released. There is a kind of McCarthy-istic black-balling for anybody named in the report.
There are 4 players that have indisputable Hall-of-Fame numbers:
Barry Bonds (all-time home run leader)
Rafael Palmeiro (500 home runs, 3,000 hits)
Gary Sheffield (500 home runs)
Roger Clemens (300 wins)
Then you have some bubble people:
Matt Williams (4-time Silver Slugger and Gold Glove winner each)
Troy Glaus (2000 Home Run King, '02 World Series MVP)
Wally Joyner (He was one of my favorites. 2060 hits, 400+ doubles)
Kevin Brown (211 wins, 6-time All-Star)
Miguel Tejada ('02 MVP, 6-time All-Star)
Mo Vaughn ('95 MVP, 5 seasons 35+ HR's)
Andy Pettitte (240 wins, 5 time World Champion)
Jason Giambi (415 home runs, 2000 MVP)
But then you have no-name players. The logic states that PED's gave these players an unfair advantage. Therefore, anyone who used PED's should be great. You want to look at some names on the Mitchell Report?
Marvin Benard-averaged 10 home runs for his 9 seasons, 54 career homers
Larry Bigbie-hit 31 career home runs, hitting 15 for a career high
Darren Holmes- finished in Top 10 and games pitched and saves once; had a 6.35 ERA in 1994
The list goes on. John Rocker, Ricky Bones, Mark Carreon. Why did none of those guys have Cy Youngs or MVP's or 60-home run seasons?
If the PED's were that much a factor why is Mark Carreon not in the Top 100 in home runs? Why was Matt Herges not a Cy Young Award winner? The PED's should not have given these guys any more of a chance to play well.
So previously, we talked about how history will look back on these players and why PED's don't make you a better player. Now let's look at past cheaters in the sport and how we treated them.
3. We celebrated cheaters before.
Baseball has been around for a long time. Stats have been kept since 1871. Like anything that has existed for such an amount of time, there is bound to be some dark stories along with the good.
Players who used Performance-Enhancing-Drugs cheated, even though the substances were not tested for at that time. (Way to go, Bud Selig.) They got an unfair advantage. This is not the first time that somebody has taken an unfair advantage to be a better player. Let's look at an interesting time in baseball history-The Spitballers.
According to Wikipedia, (Stop laughing. It was there.)
"In addition, there were serious issues with the spitball, as a variation on the standard spitball called for the pitcher to smear the entire surface of the normally white ball with a mixture of tobacco spit and dirt or mud in order to stain it the same deep brown color as the infield, making it nearly impossible for batters to see or avoid in low-light conditions.Ray Chapman was famously struck in the temple and killed by a spitball thrown by pitcherCarl Mays during a poorly lit game; Chapman is the second of only two Major League Baseball players to have died as a result of an injury received in a game (the first was Mike "Doc" Powers in 1909)."
The most famous pitcher to use the Spitball was Ed Walsh. How was he rewarded? Going into the Hall-of-Fame in 1946, 10 years after its creation. And guess what record he holds? Oh, yeah. He's the all-time leader in ERA.
17 players were granted an exemption in 1920 that gave them the opportunity to still throw the Spitter. Stan Covelski, Red Faber & Burleigh Grimes were three of the names of the 17 grandfathered in. They were also all three Hall-of-Famers.
What is the difference between a spitball and performance-enhancing drugs? Why do we revere Ed Walsh and not Barry Bonds? What really is the difference between the two? We cannot have it both ways. We can't crucify Mark McGwire or Rafael Palmeiro and not crucify Ed Walsh or Gaylord Perry.
Those guys were not that different.