As of late, Major League Baseball has been unable to get the biggest and brightest stars in the game inducted to its own "Hall Of Fame". Turns out that great sluggers and rocket armed executioners whom were the faces of MLB during the late 90s and early part on this 21st century have been dishonest with the fans. Fans who in the past had watched their every move just to witness the grace and power that is the world class athlete. The athletes had sacrificed the grace for the sake of the power.
When I was a boy, the greatest players typically played their whole career with one team. The history books are full of the stories of the grizzled old slugger leaving it all on the field. Of old men channeling their younger selves for one more at bat. They paid the price with their bodies, knowing glory awaited those who could rise to greatness "one more time". They defined themselves by the numbers they left in their wake.
Like the old days, players today use everything at their disposal to gain an advantage. Every type of cheating you can imagine has been attempted. From pitchers doctoring the ball, to pine tar on the bat, and cork inside of the bat. Players would use "Speed" so that their moments on the diamond wouldn't pass them by. When players started using performance enhancing drugs, (PEDs) all bets ended. No longer were they just trying to get every bit of talent they had out, they wanted more.
The 1st generation of juicing is over. It robbed us of our heroes and perverted our sense of value. Things like grit and fortitude were replaced by the smooth platitudes of a orthopedic surgeon talking about recovery time.
Movies have been made about how much Shoeless Joe Jackson loved the game of baseball. Nobody is going to make a movie about the love Sammy Sosa had for the game. Nobody sheds any tears for the Bash Brothers, but people are still crying over Lou Gehrig and Roberto Clemente. Now is the time for MLB to wash its hands of the PEDers and embrace the Hit King. A man who played every position in the field at one time or another. A man who was the last player manager. A man who loves baseball and in fact NEEDS it. Pete Rose has been punished. Let Pete in the Hall of Fame. Show the fans that love for the game means something. Show the kids that stronger and faster isn't always better. It's the intangibles that count. In fact, that's where the spirit of the game resides, the place where ability and fate intersect. End the ban on the Hit King and give America back it's game.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks,