Commissioner Selig along with the rest of Major League Baseball has had enough with the notion baseball is a “dirty game.” The integrity of America’s pastime has taken a huge hit over the past decade on the basis of its player cheating to get ahead. There is no doubt that the 70 plus home run seasons and the 400 and something foot bombs that are being launched are not exciting, because they are. And of course they draw attention to the game, boosting T.V. ratings and spiking ticket and jersey sales, but at what cost? Only to find out at the end of the season that your favorite player was cheating the whole time? That instead of admiring his “God given” talent, all it took was a needle in his butt for him to take Justin Verlander’s fastball into the parking lot? It has gotten out of control. Year after year a scandal comes out and an investigation is launched on one or more players in the league. From Bonds and McGwire to Rodriguez and Braun, every year a new name remains forevermore tainted.
Just days ago, Major League Baseball and its Player’s Association reached on an agreement to revamp the game’s drug policy. The new policy states: first time accusers will be suspended 80 games, without pay, second time accusers will be suspended 162 games, without pay, and third time accusers will be permanently banned. Also, there will be no option to partake in postseason play. These increased penalties for sure will make the players think twice before injecting themselves, but will it totally prevent them? That of course remains to be seen. This fan feels indifferent. For sure it will do its justice in the Major Leagues. With players in the Minor League’s, is where the doubt lies. Those 20 something year old kids will do anything to escape the crappy conditions of the Minor Leagues and to grab onto million-dollar contracts. Desperation, greed, and cheating is evermore present in the world of sports, and every American youngster wants to play professional baseball. Pretty soon, the next drug policy to be revamped will be for the players still using the aluminum bats, playing the role of hometown hero.