Bonds stuck with guilty verdict on one charge
The verdict is in: Guilty. Guilty of obstruction of justice. The jury was hung on all of the perjury charges and a mistrial was declared. The government can choose to re-file the charges, but I ask what’s the point? The government case was weak, filled mainly with hearsay, without much real evidence. They should feel fortunate they got a conviction on any of the charges. A conviction, which may get dismissed by the judge. If I were them, I would put the money they would spend on another trial to better use. I now ask, will this finally bring an end to the government’s steroid witch-hunt?My answer would probably have to be no. Roger Clemens is set to begin trial this summer, and the saga tarnishing baseball’s legacy will drag on further. The fact of the matter is: the MLB did not adopt a steroid policy until 2002. This policy was a joke, as it let the players remain anonymous and receive treatment instead of receiving suspensions. If you want to get technical, a real policy was not adopted until before the 2005 season. If players weren’t truly being held accountable before the 2005 season, then they shouldn’t be held accountable now for things they did prior to 2005.
This isn’t just about the government involvement. The government, whose involvement was best exemplified through the Mitchell Report and the BALCO investigations, is taking resources away from America’s real problems. But I digress, I instead would like to shift focus to the players whose legacies are being affected.
Do you remember the chase for the single season home run record between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998? Do you remember the excitement you felt as they chased down Roger Maris? Do you remember watching Clemens’ mastery on the mound? Did you cheer? McGwire, Bonds, Sosa, Clemens and A-Rod will now forever have their legacies tarnished due to actions, which at the time of transgression, the MLB did not consider wrong. Notice I left off Manny Ramirez as his actions continued after 2005. He knew the rules, and blatantly disregarded them. As for the other athletes that I have mentioned, are not their numbers worthy of the hall of fame? McGwire has yet to find his way to Cooperstown and it appears unlikely at this time that the others will either. Baseball is a competitive sport in which people pay good money to see the best possible product. It can be argued that the players had a responsibility to the fans to be the best they could possibly be by the standards of the game at that time. Did they not do just that? The players also owed it to themselves. Only 12.5 percent of those drafted actually make it to the big leagues. Players who “juiced” were only giving themselves a competitive edge and an increased chance of getting called up to the show. Most importantly, they were doing it within the confines of what the sport allowed. Who are we to say that what they did was wrong when the MLB hadn’t?
The people most responsible for this are the conservative writers that make up the Hall of Fame selection committee. I challenge them to judge the players by the rules of the game at the time they played. It should not be a question of morality, but rather performance on the diamond. The numbers were there. I believe that it is time to invite these accomplished players into Cooperstown.
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