Baseball's Hypocrisy

Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Yesterday Baseball announced the candidates for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Among those on the ballot for the first time is Darryl Strawberry. Not on the ballot once again is Baseball's all-time hit king Pete Rose.

I am not here to argue whether or not Pete Rose belongs in the Hall of Fame. I find it a little ridiculous that the all time leader in hits isn't in the Hall but Baseball's cardinal rule is that you do not bet on Baseball. He did and he has to live with the consequences. I'm fine with that.

But let me get this straight. It is OK to take drugs, cocaine no less, and get suspended from the game 3 times for it but it is not OK to bet on the game? Darry Strawberry admits to having a drug problem. It is pretty obvious that he was probably high in a lot of games. Yet Baseball will look the other way when it comes to drugs. The argument why gambling is so bad is that it hurts the fabric of the game. Sure I buy that but guys juiced up on steroids don't hurt the fabric or integrity of the game? If baseball cared so much about the "fabric of the game" wouldn't it have a better drug policy than the current lame ass policy?

Think about it. Your kid comes back from college and he is going to tell you one of two things.

1. Dad, I have a cocaine problem. I get high 3 times a day.
2. Dad, I have a gambling problem. I lost $1000 at the track last week.

If its #1 I'm worrying and probably out of my mind. If its #2 I'm worried but I can work with it. What is baseball trying to say?

My point is that if you are going to say gambling keeps you out of the hall then taking drugs, being a racist, and beating your wife should keep you out too.


Anonymous said...

I believe the concern is not about the "fabric" of the game, but the integrity. If a player or manager is betting on baseball, might they not try to influence the outcome? It seems to me that someone desperate for drugs might do anything to get them, like throw a game - I admit this a weaker argument than the gambling aspect.
Playing impaired by drugs seems similar to me in some ways to playing impaired by injury. Playing artificially enhanced by steroids or other chemicals seems unfair and perhaps should require banishment.
I think Pete should be in the Hall for his acheivments on the field, but I'm not fanatical about it. Everyone knows gambling calls for banishment and there's no similar rule for drugs - but I tend to agree with you that there should be, especially for a chronic abuser like Strawberry.