Sunday, December 16, 2007

As American as Baseball

Well, the long awaited (by some) Mitchell Report on the use of steroids in baseball is now out. I was saddened to see the extent of the use of illegal and unauthorized drugs in the quest for victory in this long time American pastime. How sad -- these guys are people to whom our kids look up as heroes and role models. Scary! Now, the Mitchell Report from what I hear (I have not read the report) recommends not taking action against the players named as having used these drugs. I don't care if there is legal action -- that is for an authority much wiser than I to determine, but -- I do believe at the very least they should be stripped of all "records" (home run counts, games won, etc) AND there information should be removed from the annals of baseball history. Baseball, you see, was in my mind one of the last great bastions of honor, decency and fair play on the American scene. To see it tainted by cheating (and that is what the drug use amounts to) cheapens not only baseball but American culture as a whole. In a day when players have been kicked out and prosecuted for gambling on their own games, throwing games, and other offenses, to let illegal drug use go unpunished is just wrong. Additionally, what about the players who set great records without resorting to cheating? I am not a great baseball fan, but names like Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Don Drysdale, and other baseball greats are a part of my growning up experience. They worked hard and played the game with integrity and honesty, and they achieved greatness and, in one way or another, hero status. To see the same honors affording to drug crazed cheaters cheapens everything those greats of the past accomplished. Mr. Mitchell, thank you for your report. I respect your years of service and leadership in our nation, but I have to differ with you on your recommendation. There should be accountability for these players -- there would be for you or me. What makes them different? In fact, they should be held to the time honored higher standard of the American institution of baseball. And that, my friends, is the way I see it!

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