In my last entry, we discussed whether or not baseball will endure through this crisis, because this is a pretty big one. Of course we at the blogosphere have been dwelling on it for the past few days, but there are still some unanswered questions, the biggest one in my mind being:
How do we fix this?
To elaborate further on that question, there are many different approaches one could take to this. Roy Oswalt suggested virtually throwing the numbers away of anyone convicted or proved to have used steroids.
A few of us have suggested that over here, but it’s interesting hearing it come from an actual player’s mouth. As far as I can tell from this statement, Oswalt is upset that other players have an advantage over him, when he’s just doing it naturally– like it should be. I have even speculated that we should throw all the numbers away, that they should not be let into the HOF by any means.
Like I’ve said before, it’s not like we can’t ignore numbers, we’re doing it now, we may not agree with it but we are doing it now. The thing is, Pete Rose is one guy, the Black Sox Scandal was eight guys, but this steroids issue is hundreds of guys. If people thought eight guys was shocking, can you imagine if when we find out about these other players?
Much as I don’t like A-Rod, it is a bit unfair that he has to take the blame for all of this. That he is the one whose privacy was violated. He set the example by confessing [once the report came out] but why only his name?
Anyway, there has also been the asterisk method that people have mentioned. Some have suggested having asterisks put next to the player’s names for the rest of their legacies, and some have suggested even installing an asterisk section for people who would be admitted to the HOF, but have done steroids.
I like the idea of this metaphorical asterisk, but is there an asterisk next to the 1919 World Series? Ken Burns has looked into this idea– it’s in the books that the Cincinnati Red Stockings won the 1919 World Series despite the fact that the eight players who were paid off are forever ignored. That’s a paradox for you.
Can we ignore numbers yet keep them in the book at the same time? I don’t know how keen I am on the whole asterisk section of the HOF, because they would still be in the HOF. Do we need a separate museum dedicated to the era of steroids users? Maybe we need a museum for the scandals of baseball, the players who are banned yet still have great statistics.
Back to the question: Will baseball save us and itself? The answer is quite obvious and it is yes. The answer isn’t yes solely because it has endured other scandals in the past. The answer is yes because of what baseball actually is.
When I watch the game, nothing else matters to me. Whatever is going on in my personal life leaves me for a couple of glorious hours. I literally get lost in the game. It doesn’t matter that I have a research paper, an English essay, a math project, and a complete lack of understanding chemistry (all of which I am avoiding to write this blog). When we get lost in the game, we tend to forget things that happen outside of the game. Paul Byrd was accused and admitted to doing steroids before Game 7 of the 2007 ALCS. In late 2008 he came to the Red Sox. When he came I was thinking, ‘Do I root for this guy?’. But when I started watching the game, it didn’t matter. I would forget that he had done steroids, and I would root for him without realizing it.
That is why baseball will endure.