After a relaxing day off work, watching the NFL Wild Card games, I decided to stay tuned for the Roger Clemens interview on “60 Minutes”. Although I found it to be worth watching, soon I felt disturbed after I realized that the controversies currently surrounding Major League Baseball will always appear more newsworthy than any on-field achievements. That’s when I decided to write this intro.
It really bothers me that athletes, especially baseball players, will always be scrutinized, rather than given the benefit of the doubt following outstanding performances. No matter how full of natural ability and talent a player has, there will always be questions regarding his legitimacy. Will there ever be another superstar that isn’t questioned? Even after the Mitchell Report, and all of the subsequent reports I’m sure will come out in the coming months, and even after the commissioner’s office exhausts ridiculous amounts of time and money into trying to clean up the game of baseball, this will still be the case. Even when the “steroid era” is over, the debate will not be. Was this problem caused by the guilty players, the league, the fans, the media, or a more likely, a combination of all of them?
Soon, we’ll see the results of the 2008 Hall of Fame voting. The ballot includes many great players, including our own Mark McGwire, a holdover from last year. The controversy surrounding him is just as prominent as with Clemens. Did they cheat? I don’t know. I’m sure we’ll know more eventually. So where in the history of baseball will these types of players fit? Nowhere? Asterisked? Cooperstown?
We’ll discuss that next time.