Thursday, November 28, 2013

Cheating In Baseball (Hello St. Louis!)

I've written once before here about steroid use, but not cheating in general and what we can and should do about it in Major League Baseball.

Steroids themselves don't really bother me so much. It's the cheating aspect I find vexing. I honestly thought the Cardinals were above hiring a known drug cheat, but apparently General Manger, John Mozeliak, is not the man I thought he was. Peralta is on the team. It's a done deal. Can someone tell me what all this Christian Night at the Ballpark was about last summer? Apparently it was little more than a publicity stunt.

What kind of example does this set for our kids in town? If you cheat in baseball you get a fat contract worth tens of millions of dollars! That's what it teaches them. Mozeliak talks about giving second chances to ballplayers who make "mistakes." But this wasn't a mistake. Peralta took PEDs on purpose. He didn't accidentally shoot-up the wrong drug. It was a premeditated decision on his part.

Cheating in sports is not like breaking other laws. It's not like speeding or tossing a cigarette butt on the sidewalk. People pay a fine for those things and get a second or even third or fourth chance, and it brings a little revenue into the city in the process. Sports are different.

Second chances don't apply to cheaters in sports for a few different reasons. One, we fans enjoy baseball stats. We love talking about who had the best batting average,  the most home runs, the pitcher with the most no-hitters and so on. Cheating makes those statistics useless while lessening the enjoyment of the sport. Two, drugs that enhance a player's performance will also enhance his contract and entitle him to more money than he deserves. Third, players who did only marginally worse while not shooting drugs may lose a slot on the team to a cheater.

Cheaters only win if you let them. If you get caught cheating on a test at Harvard, Stanford, or just about any other Ivy League college you get booted from the school, and you don't graduate. You'll also have a hard time getting into any other Ivy League school, which means going to a lesser college and probably making less money in the real world.

If you really want to stop cheating in Baseball or sports in general, you can't give second chances to someone who has permanently tarnished the game. Boot the cheaters out of the Majors and maybe they can get a job playing for a lesser league like the Independent League or the Mexican Pacific etc. But get them out of the Majors.

Shame on the Cardinals and John Mozeliak in particular. I won't be attending any Cardinal games next year. I'd sooner drive up to Chicago and watch the White Sox lose every game, but lose them honestly.

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