Why Baseball Will Endure

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? 
Roy Oswalt.jpg
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. 
Baseball Field.jpg
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. 


  1. levelboss

    Elizabeth, i’ve noticed of late that many folks seem to sympathize with ARod.. they’re not condoning steroid use but are defending why ARod has seemingly been singled out of a list of 104 baseball players.. it was nice to read that Kevin Youkilis defended ARod, and asked why he was singled out

  2. Lissi

    Great entry today! I agree with you about baseball, it will most definitely endure and be better than ever if only because of the stress it and its fans have endured. I am also just as confused and lost about what to do with players who have used steroids or done anything questionable at all.
    Now do your homework! JK 😉 I get on here during class so I really shouldn’t talk.
    PS No one understands chemistry. 🙂

  3. mlbtribefan

    Chemistry Lesson 101: Certain chemicals when mixed together cause a bad explosion. It sort of reminds me of the Yankees and Red Sox. The periodic table has certain elements that can bring life into existence like two hydrogens and one oxygen or when oxygen helps spread a fire.

    The good thing is that baseball uses these elements as well as CO2 when exhaled to bring relief to our tense insides and allows us to bring in Oxygen to feel alive again.

    Certain DNA samples can cause us to be found innocent or guilty, yet the grass and dirt when inside chalked lines bring us all into a piece of Heaven, I believe!

    Take care


  4. Elizabeth D.

    Levelboss: And I thought that I would never sympathize with A-Rod. We don’t condone his actions but we don’t want to defend the other 103 players.

    Melissa: One day one brilliant idea will come about what to do with the players of this ear.

    Bob: There’s no way to truly know though. We’ll figure something out!

    Aaron: Nice chemistry analogy! Any chemistry-baseball analogies when it comes to calorimetry?


  5. rockymountainway

    The legacies are already tarnished and that’s about the best you can do outside of negating the Hall votes. There is no clear cut way to separate cheating and cheating has been throughout it’s history. This is just the biggest we’ve ever known about.

  6. juliasrants

    Elizabeth – as long as we fans love and care for the game it will endure! We can all work together to make it better so that in the future we won’t have to be discussing these things. I’ve said before we can’t go back and change the past, but I think going forward I would support that if a player is caught doing steroids or any other illegal substance then they need to be thrown out of baseball and all their records erased. Much like they do in the Olympics and in professional cycling. Good luck with the home work! And post your history paper here when you’re done.


  7. Elizabeth D.

    Tom: Eight players is a lot to suspend but 104 and maybe more is ridiculous. We can’t just overlook it though.

    Julia: I definitely will post my history paper here when I’m done, as well as all my ideas and such. There’s a great quote at the end of the ‘Great Gatsby’ that goes: “So we beat on, oats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past” But we do have to look at our mistakes of the past in order to correct them for the future.


  8. mlbtribefan

    Okay Elizabeth: Calorimetry 101!

    One of the formulas of calorimetry courtesy of wikipedia is Q=mcΔT specific heat formula. This in baseball terms is explained like this
    q is energy, or heat, (a fastball from an ace)
    m is mass, (take a big guy on the mound)
    c is specific heat, (98-100 mph coming at me)
    ΔT is change in temperature. (I swing and miss and the breeze causes a change in temperature in the air.)
    Calorimetry is the science of measuring the heat of chemical reactions or physical changes. ( I sweat when heat comes at me at 98-100 mph) My ice melts quickly when exposed to the heat after a few seconds. My hands sweat too much when swinging all day trying to catch up to a 100 mph fast ball. Note the chemical reaction.
    Indirect calorimetry calculates heat that living organisms produce from their production of carbon dioxide and nitrogen waste (frequently ammonia in aquatic organisms, or urea in terrestrial ones), OR from their consumption of oxygen
    Baseball Translation: When I exhale I produce some hot air and CO2. All this hot air affects the way I act and react when talking about baseball and chemistry.

    Aka Baseball and team chemistry can only work when the heat from the temperatures are equally distributed and does not cause a reaction that is going to be aversive

    You can thank wikipedia and purely uneducated creativity by me for this information

    Take care and good luck


  9. Elizabeth D.

    Aaron: WOW! It does make more sense now! Wikipedia is the best! Thanks for your help! If only we could translate everything to baseball.


  10. Jane Heller

    I think baseball will be just fine. As you say, Elizabeth, the game will always be our source of entertainment and escape. Here’s hoping the powers that be will continue to work out a more rigorous testing program, but in the meantime I’m just looking forward to another great season.


  11. raysrenegade

    You know the best thing about sports. No matter what we do to try and mess it up, it is a kids game that can be simplified down to a A,B C level that even a chimp can understand.

    With all the bad that has hit the game, like canceling the games during WWII, and WWI, to the post-911 temporary delay in games, the true spirit of it all shine through bright and cheery for all to see.

    Heck, even fans of teams like the Kansas City Royals and Pittsburgh Pirates still yell, ” We will get them next year” after the last game of the season. Optimism and baseball go hand in hand. Any team can either catch the breaks or get beaten on any given day.

    Rays Renegade


  12. Elizabeth D.

    Jane: Luckily it won’t be a long wait. Spring Training is basically here!

    RR: It always came back after the wars and after the attack, which shows how strong it is. When baseball came back, it seemed to show us that everything was going to be okay. That’s what is beautiful about baseball. I will never know what’s going to happen.


  13. redbirdchatter

    Elizabeth – Good blog. Baseball is our love, our escape. Sometimes our loves disappoint us, but we have to get past it and move on. I do not want to know the other names. As Americans we should be more offended that information on a confidential medical test became public. Alex Rodriguez’s privacy was violated.
    That list is the past. We cannot change what was. I am just ready to move on and get back to actual baseball!

  14. Kaybee

    Great entry! That was really good! And I loved Aaron’s chemistry thing; I told you the only way we would use it in baseball is to analyze sweat! Hope you can figure it out, I’m still scratching my head at almost everything I’m reading 🙂

  15. xcicix

    We’ll never be able to know who did roids, so just don’t admit anyone from this era into the HOF. I know it’s completely unfair, but no one in the majors from the time of the first documented usage of PEDs until MLB started banning them should be admitted. I know it’s unfair but we really have no way of knowing.

  16. Elizabeth D.

    Kathy: When we love something, we will always be able to get past its flaws, forgive it, and help it rehabilitate. I still want to know the other names, but I respect the fact that they are private, and am still shocked that A-Rod is the only one to get attention.

    Kaybee: Thank you! I was telling my friends during chemistry about my new chem-baseball tutor. We’ll see how the test goes tomorrow!

    Caroline: Since the drug tests started in 2004, I think that it is safe to say that we know who did and didn’t do steroids after that. Before that though, is almost impossible to know. However, we have to give credit where credit is due to those players who are clean and have gone beyond baseball expectations. Innocent until proven guilty. Interesting idea though.


  17. Elizabeth D.

    Jenn: I think that white carpet + grape juice analogy is one of the best that I’ve heard. The carpet will always be there, but the scandals [grape juice] will never be forgotten. I love it.


  18. Erin Kathleen

    Well said, Elizabeth! And like you said, it’s so hard to decide what to do with these guys and all of the records they set. We don’t really know what’s tainted and what isn’t, so do we just put an asterisk next to everything accomplished between 1992 and 2003? Is that even going back far enough?

  19. metmainman

    I think keep the names secret. That was an anonymous survey and A-Rod’s name was supposed to be kept secret. He disappointed us, why do we need more disappointment? I say don’t put an asterisk, the people’s opinion changing for the worse is punishment enough.

  20. jimmy27nyy

    Hey, Elizabeth …

    I think the only real penalty for all steroid and PED users is not being voted into Baseball’s “Hall of Fame” !!! … I would also impose some sort of *asterisk* in regards to players who used PED’s, so baseball fans in the future will know the reason why great players such as: A-Rod, Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, etc., are not in the “Hall” !!! And, a “zero tolerance” policy by MLB and the Players Association needs to be started as soon as possible, that will “ban for life” any players testing positive for PED use !!! Great thoughts in your abve post, Elizabeth !!! … Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L” http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

  21. Elizabeth D.

    Erin: Thats the problem, we don’t have any evidence for or against so what do we do?

    Happy: Baseball will get us out of this mess.

    MMM: That’s true, but it’s still not fair that A-Rod is the only one.

    Jimmy: Yeah, that policy needs to be implemented immediately so that the players know that this cannot keep happening. No suspensions, expulsions. I’m sure that Ken Burns will do a nice sentiment on the steroids era in his next documentary


  22. scofid

    Elizabeth, I completely agree. From my perspective, for every player that is a proven, admitted or suspected user, there are more that we’ll never know about. At this point, baseball does need to put in the necessary prevention measures like a “zero tolerance ” policy as you’ve suggested. But let’s only look forward…


  23. Elizabeth D.

    Scott: We have to stop this problem before it gets worse.

    Hyun Young: Thanks, the fact that we enjoy watching the game is one of the biggest reasons that baseball will endure.


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