Anyone who knows me well knows that I enjoy professional sports. My favorite sport in the world is NFL football. My second favorite sport is Major League Baseball. I am a life long fan of the New York Mets and I have always enjoyed watching baseball. I actually watched baseball long before I was interested in football. It is easy to say, now, of course, that I enjoy football more than baseball, but I still do enjoy both.
Within the NFL there are problems. We hear and read of players being arrested all the time. Michael Vick is currently in prison and Plaxico Burress might soon be. Football is a violent game played by violent men and the results are often predictable. The NFL is actually very diligent in its enforcement of conduct by its players and Roger Goodell has made his presence well known as the commissioner.
One thing that is not tolerated in the NFL, and is ruthlessly hunted down is cheating.
The problem with baseball is that rampant cheating has been taking place.
Home Run records lasted a long time. Suddenly they began to fall, rapidly. We have found out that Sammy Sosa cheated drug wise and by juicing his bats with cork. Mark McGwire cheated and won a home run record. Barry Bonds cheated and won every home run record shortly afterwards. The most dominant pitcher was Roger Clemens and he cheated. Now, of course, the news is coming out that A-Rod cheated. Well, theoretically, I guess, he didn’t because there wasn’t a specific ‘rule’ at that point----but he juiced himself up to hit the ball better.
And then we come to a part of the problem. Records are being broken in baseball by people who cheated. Baseball Commissioner Bug Selig is not Roger Goodell. Whereas Goodell has made himself respected, even feared, within the NFL, Selig is little more than a puppet for the owners. Heck, he was an owner before becoming the commissioner. He is, by design, powerless.
And the great American game is going down the tubes and Selig is fiddling while baseball burns.
How do you fix it? Remove the records from the cheaters. They are ill-gotten gains. If a student was found to have cheated on an exam or plagiarized a paper, they would have their credit retroactively removed. Remove the records.
The next step is to remove the players from the league. Let A-Rod work at a place that requires the question, “Would you like fries with that?,” instead of letting him play each day.
And, finally, for those who lied under oath, they can join Michael Vick.
This cheating culture permeates American society. We are seeing it in sports, we see it in politics, we see it in business, we see it in Wall Street.
When I was growing up one of the ‘rules of the neighborhood’ was that ‘cheaters never profit.’ Sadly, they do and as long as they do, people will cheat. It would be nice if someone or some group, and baseball is a great place to start, would step in and assure that cheaters really do never profit.