You might not know this from listening to me these days, but I used to be a HUGE baseball fan. My father would take me out to see the Giants in my native San Francisco every season. I was there when they lost 100 games. I was there for the Bay Bridge Series when the big earthquake hit. I sat in the cold and the fog and I cheered until I was hoarse.
But those days are gone. I grew disenchanted with the cries and bellyaching and the big money deals and the sizzle with no steak.
And now we have the steroids controversy threatening to rip the American pastime apart.
All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez has become the highest profile player to admit using steroids to enhance his performance.
But he has really admitted something much deeper and sadder–he has admitted CHEATING. The game. The fans. The record books. The kids who look up to him. And himself.
He says he was young and stupid and pressured to be the best, not just the highest paid, player in the game.
Of course, he claims that was all in the past. He is cleaner and wiser NOW. That was THEN.
But NOW might be too late. Yes, we all have our stupid moments. Sometimes stupidity catches up to you.
I think all the records and the accolades he received while on these drugs NEED TO BE MARKED in the sports history books. They HAVE to be.
Every accomplishment he attained while under the influence of steroids needs to have a giant ASTERIK before and after it, marking the records like a Scarlet Letter.
It is the only fair thing to do. For the sport and for those who achieved those records and heights without having to be doped up on drugs to make them Supermen.
I hate what baseball has become. I hate how the sport and its players and its magic have been dumbed down like so much in our culture and society.
Apologizing and sounding regretful isn’t enough.
Stupidity must have its price.