Baseball integrity: Is that a thing?
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Integrity (n.) — The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
Let me start off by stating that the intention of this article is not to irritate fans of baseball (or baseball integrity). The intention is to post a legitimate opinion designed make TTFB readers think outside the box.
I have been a fan of baseball since I was barely out of diapers, and for the most part, love every aspect of this wonderful sport. However, the one area that continues to make me want to slam my head against the wall is this Puritan philosophy of the “Integrity of the game.”
Fans, commentators and writers all carry on about the integrity of baseball, as if it is this moral standard that everyone should uphold in the sport. They claim today’s players lack respect that undermines baseball integrity.
To this I say, give me a break.
Without going into another long repetitive debate, let’s focus on performance enhancing drugs (PEDs). In some fashion, forms of cheating have been in baseball since the sport began. Pitchers used to doctor the balls to get more spin on their pitches. Where was the baseball integrity in that? Players would take Greenies to help them stay on the field through the dog days of August. Where was the baseball integrity in that? To all the writers and fans who are so vehemently appalled by PEDs, I say, “Get off of your high horse and just stop.”
In this writer’s opinion there is one group of people out there who should have a legitimate problem with PEDs — the borderline players. The “quadruple-A” players. Everyone else, just stop it.
The players out there who get a cup of coffee in the majors every summer between stops at Triple-A are the only ones are the one group of people who I feel can complain. These are the players just slightly below the talent level of a major leaguer and will probably set Triple-A records but never accumulate enough MLB service time (or money) to support their families. They are being beat out by some out there who are doing PEDs while they are clean. They are losing jobs because there are still players who are dabbling in the PED world.
Why shouldn’t the rest of the “clean” major leaguers speak out against PEDs? Because quite frankly, the dummies who continue to take steroids are getting caught. The system is working. Yes, they get to stay in baseball after they come back and continue making a paycheck but if that is their beef, take it up with the players union.
It was their players union who signed for the penalties for steroid use. It was their players union who advocate for super agents like Scott Boras, who attempt to decimate available payrolls by getting teams to dish out these ridiculous contracts for players. To the players like Matt Holliday, who came out and stood aggressively against the players who received 50 game bans, I get the frustration, but seriously just stop. If you have such a problem with it, step up and get your union to change the penalty. Put some of your own scratch in to clean this mess up. It’s that same union which got you that ridiculous contract.
What denotes good baseball integrity?
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