|Photo: Mike Licht (BY POSTING THIS PHOTO, I AM IN NO WAY ACCUSING ALEX RODRIGUEZ OF USING STEROIDS)|
Well, in a sport that has been gutted, destroyed, and ravaged by steroids, baseball finally got it right this past week.
It was a two step process that needed to be done. Major league baseball is on the right track in returning to be America's past time, although I doubt it will. However, doing whatever they can to rid themselves of the dark steroid era days will contribute to their success, increase popularity, and, most of all, decrease in bad steroid-related baseball jokes.
Early in the week, baseball did what only happens in every other major league sport. The only difference, baseball did what can only happen in baseball! They voted and nobody was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The 2013 class will be empty. The ballot included major players from the steroid era like Clemons, Sosa, Bonds and McGwire.
Were there players that should have been inducted? No doubt. But, I am not here to debate whether or not players should have or shouldn't have been. I am not here to debate whether or not baseballs Hall of Fame voting system is as obsolete as your grandmothers or great-grandmothers computer.
I am simply here to say that baseball was correct in leaving players linked to the steroid era out of the Hall. In my opinion, they should be left out forever. Players where there is a substantial amount of evidence (I don't know how much that is) that points to them having done steroids, should be left out of Cooperstown...forever (spoken like Squints from The Sandlot).
The next step baseball took towards cleaning up its act came later in the week when Commissioner Bud Selig announced that there will be random drug testing starting this coming season. In my opinion, this has been a long time coming. Baseball has needed a random drug testing policy since someone first came up the idea.
If you ask me, football has become Americas new favorite sport with baseball falling in at second and the basketball being a close third. Will baseball ever overtake football? Probably not. Most people have come to associate baseball with steroids and steroids with baseball. It's the outcome of an era of big bats, big stats, and big muscles that were aided by big needles with big drugs.
While it may not become America's favorite sport again, it can get rid of the stereotypes, bad jokes, and bad image. Ensuring that steroid users can't get into the Hall of Fame and instituting a random drug testing policy are just two giant steps in the right direction.
What do you think of baseball and the steroid era? Will it ever be a thing of the past? Leave your thoughts in a comment below and start the discussion!