Baseball Will Survive the Scandals

As a lifelong baseball fan and a diehard Yankees fan, this has been a tough season to watch, and today was the worst. Major League Baseball suspended 13 players for their involvement in the latest performance enhancing scandal. Unlucky number 13, Alex Rodriguez, was hit with the harshest penalty of them all, suspended for 211 games.  Unlike the other players, A-Rod refused to accept his punishment and is appealing, thus able to play until the process runs its course.  (Even Ryan Braun, who fought his last accusation and got off on a technicality, took his lumps this time without any excuses.) The age of steroids has tarnished this game I love, but the National Pastime has survived the Black Sox scandal of 1919, the strike that cancelled the 1994 World Series, Pete Rose gambling on the sport, and other blemishes in its history, but the current Biogenesis mess is probably the exclamation point on its darkest time. Nevertheless, this too shall pass, and the game will live on.

Baseball is greater than the spoiled and arrogant millionaires who play it or the not-so-nice players who came before. They've cheated in the past with spitballs and corked bats, and some of them will find ways to cheat again in the future. The cheaters should be exposed and punished, more effective ways to catch them and deter them need to be implemented and enforced, but in the end our love for the game itself will not be diminished.

A-Rod was looked upon as the savior, the clean guy who would break the homerun record without any shortcuts necessary. Now he's been revealed to be another clay-footed idol, desperately trying to cling to his reputation (and six-figure salary) no matter how much evidence Commissioner Bud Selig has accumulated against him and despite the downward spiral of public opinion. Rodriguez is a disgrace and should bow out for the good of the game -- but we know that even with his repeated statements about how much he loves baseball, his actions have proven that he's just a selfish, money-hungry clown who needs to let the sport close the rancid chapter that his illicit machinations epitomized.  Baseball, however, will live on long after A-Rod and his ilk are gone.  The glory of baseball will continue even after the stench of the cheaters becomes a bad memory.  As bad as the current scandal seems, baseball will never die.

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