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We don’t go easy on ballplayers who use PEDs because they’re “our heroes.” Quite the opposite

Aug 9, 2013, 12:26 PM EDT


I linked to Jeff Pearlman’s radio interview and post about how he feels Mark McGwire should be banned from baseball because he took PEDs back in the 90s and early 2000s when he was playing. There has been considerable reaction to his thoughts on that, mostly negative.

Pearlman responds to that at his blog. He’s quite upset that people aren’t as upset about it. And he thinks he knows why: fans worship athletes and let them get away with murder.

He says that McGwire and Bonds unconscionably destroyed records but “[t]o the athlete worshiper, none of that matters.” He goes on to say that even though sports is a fun diversion, “kids are watching” and “accountability means something” and for that reason “heroes can be called out, even if it hurts.”

I disagree with the very premise. As I said the other day, the idea that athletes are or should be heroes is simply foreign to me. Thus the notion that I and those who think like me go easy on PED users because we’re star struck or because we worship athletes is totally wrong. I get less outraged than most on the topic specifically because they are not heroes. Because they are ordinary people with ordinary human flaws.

This does not excuse them. If there are punishments rightfully due to them, they should receive them. But it does render moral outrage at their failings to be inapt, to say the least.

About those punishments and sanctions: Pearlman says this:

Stephen Glass never worked in journalism again. Myriad accountants and lawyers and doctors—once found guilty of violating serious professional bylaws—are done. Yet, in sports, coaches always say, “In America, we give second chances.” Yeah, if you hit home runs.

Yes. But that’s because The New Republic and journalism as a whole was very clear to Mr. Glass before he started working that plagiarism and fabrication was a fireable and, essentially, banishable offense. Lawyers and doctors have specifically set-out bylaws that detail the rules to be followed and the punishment to which they will be subject if they do not. It’s very, very clear.

Pearlman, on the other hand, would banish McGwire for conforming to norms of his profession at the time. Norms that, however odious they may seem to us now, existed and were strongly reinforced by the system in which he played when he did so. And even now, when those norms no longer apply, there are specifically set-out penalties for violating the rules. They do not include banishment for life unless someone has three offenses and they in no way apply retroactively. His comparison, then, is totally out to lunch.

But back to McGwire: No matter how angry he makes some people, he does not mean anything more to me than any other entertainer or celebrity does. The home run record is a statistic, not a sacred thing. Others may disagree with that, which is their right, but that’s on them. For my part, my lack of outrage on the subject is not because I believe them to be special or untouchable. It’s quite the opposite.

  1. Alex K - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:31 PM


  2. buffal0sportsfan - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Well with stories like the Bryce Harper and Matt Kemp ones helping less fortunate kids I see reason to worship some as heroes but the res I see where your coming from.

    • mattj425 - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:59 PM

      To an extent, I agree with you. Having said that, often times there are a lot of people that help out those same less fortunate kids that deserve as much or more recognition for their heroism. The only difference is that they’re not pro athletes.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:17 PM

      I agree that we should praise the players for helping the less fortunate and assisting noble causes. But we should not elevate the players above the realm of flawed humanity.

      I am also sure that the praise is not spread evenly among all players who give of their time, money and energy:

  3. goldstar4robotboy - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:34 PM

    Pearlman is entitled to his outrage, but he isn’t entitled to mine.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:43 PM

      well said

  4. Old Gator - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    I disagree, Craig. In a little read codicil to Citizens United, SCROTUM found that under the Constitution (ie, on the desktop underneath the parchment) not only are corporations people – and übermenschen at that – but that any apparently organized groups, including secret societies, klaverns, covens, tribes of Hottentots and Bushmen, prides of lions, schools of feesh, flocks of birds, ant colonies, termite mounds, wolfpacks, lemming marches and baseball statisticians are people, too. Ergo, the destruction of baseball records – which, being people products not unlike handmade beers and excrement – have wives and pigs and gardens and everything and therefore standing to petition for redress, especially if they don’t like the dress you bought them in the first place.

    • Gamera the Brave - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      (in Butthead voice)
      uhhhh hehehe hehehe – he said SCROTUM..

      /sneaks over, dips historio’s, then ‘burg’s ponytails in inkwell, tiptoes back to desk

  5. dlf9 - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    The “think about the kids” position would sway me a lot more if there weren’t billboards for alcohol and gambling at virtually every ballpark and television commercial.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Or Sportswriters spent 1/10th the time blasting athletes for DUIs as they did for using PEDs. One of those two kills thousands of people every year while the other kills essentially zero. But guess which gets more airtime.

      • IdahoMariner - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:13 PM

        Or maybe getting fired up about the wife/girlfriend beating.
        On the scale of things that will trigger my outrage (as opposed to thinking, “well, that wasn’t cool, dude”), wife beating and DUIs are a BIT higher than someone breaking a record using PEDs. Somewhere in between those two extremes is someone taking PEDs and forcing someone else off a roster because of the unfair advantage. (but that ain’t McGwire or Rodriguez, is it? huh. nuance. the world has grey areas? weird.)

        Breaking a record usind PEDs just means some number has an unreliable meaning. I can live with that.

        But someone like M. Cabrera – who assaulted his wife, drove drunk AND threatened strangers in a bar with violence … someone who engages in criminal, dangerous behavior but got a pass because he is a baseball star. Yeah, that pisses me off. But hey, that’s okay with the sportswriters, who forgave and forgot and now totally get behind him and write and speak of him as though he is (wait for it) some kind of hero because he can hit the ball really freaking hard and far and a lot.

        I am not going to be lectured by a sportswriter for not really getting fired up that someone broke a record while they were taking PEDs when the sport implicitly encouraged it. Take your umbrage somewhere else, Pearlman.

  6. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    People didn’t get all up in arms over what Pearlman said, because they saw it for what it was. A personal, vindictive attack by a petty, entitled douche who’s made a living standing on a soapbox attacking athletes.

    I’m sorry you got cut from the JV baseball team in highschool, and the star quarterback took the girl you liked to prom, but it’s time to grow up and get over it.

    • gibbyfan - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      I dont know anything about this jerk nor would I spend any effort to find out —but I would n’t be at all surprised if your assessment is 100% on tarket—This is a way for a small person to grab someattention at the expense of another–
      -Any mention of the fact that Big Mac broke no rules and still walked away from tens of millions of dollars—unlike most athletes who will hang on no matter how much they drag their team down.

  7. bigbenh8tr - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Craig, you need to see understand that people younger than you look at these athletes differently than you. I grew up during the Sosa, bonds, McGwire battles and looking back I can’t believe you guys covered it as much as you did. Every game was treated like a playoff game and the actual pennant races were completely ignored. We would be playing basket all in my friends driveway with the door open and TV volume up so we could run back inside to watch each at bat. I’m still old enough to remember scrawny bonds on the pirates and that griffey Jr never got close to the size of these guys although I still have doubts thanks to his injuries in Cindy. Jay bummer on the other hand was a giant and I’m sure a ped user.

    Its different for everyone but you can’t read that story and say they aren’t viewed as heroes. Most 13 14 year olds (same age as little league world series kids on TV right now) aren’t usually mature enough to appreciate the differences between star athletes as heroes versus soldiers, firefighters, police, survivors etc.

    Pearlman may generalize too much but I think you are missing the point here and simply don’t agree w penalties BC the media needs hrs just as much as mlb does to keep fans engaged whether its viewing the games or reading sports writers’ articles. I’m not trying to come off as pompous but I think you are a little too narrow minded in regards to this issue.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:55 PM

      Perhaps the lionization of sports figures is really the fault of the press. In which case, who should be blamed when the players can’t live up to the idol status that they may not have asked for, but was thrust upon them by narratives and game stories?

    • kyzslew77 - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      Kids might also think musicians, actors/actresses and other celebrities are heroes when in fact most are not. That doesn’t mean society should collectively lose its shit when one of them gets arrested for doing something dumb. It’s up to parents to teach their kids who they should idolize, and who they should appreciate but be cautious about idolizing. That is the answer to this problem, not Pearlman’s sanctimonious and idiotic outrage.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Its different for everyone but you can’t read that story and say they aren’t viewed as heroes. Most 13 14 year olds (same age as little league world series kids on TV right now) aren’t usually mature enough to appreciate the differences between star athletes as heroes versus soldiers, firefighters, police, survivors etc.

      Echoing sabathia, it’s fine if you want to view these players as heroes. No one is stopping you. However, this isn’t the fault of the players if they fail to live up to your expectations of them. Far too many people want to blame the athlete because Arod/Bonds/McGwire failed to live up to the fans beliefs of what they were. Isn’t that a bit ridiculous?

      • paperlions - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        To put this in a more everyday (perhaps) context, if you start dating someone and project a bunch of qualities onto that person that are your fabrication (i.e. your hopes, dreams, and wishes that are distorted by your burgeoning emotions) and do not reflect reality, your eventual dissatisfaction at their inability to live up to your expectations is 0% their fault. People will say lame things like “s/he just wasn’t who I thought they were”, when what they mean is “s/he wasn’t who I wanted them to be”…again, that is 0% their fault.

        …..and so it is with pro athletes. The fact that some people want them to be other than waht they are is no fault of the athlete and 100% the fault of those doing the projections.

        Pearlman appears to be a very emotional guy, he certainly reacts strongly to criticism, while having no problem dishing out truck loads of emotionally charged criticism himself….but the failure of people (athletes and fans) to be who he wants them to be (as heros or as as outraged citizens) is 0% their fault and 100% a creation of how he wishes the world was…and that world has never existed.

  8. motobus - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I don’t understand the “for the kids” argument. If we’re getting rid of things because kids can see and theyre emulative little creatures, steroids isn’t even cracking my top 10.

    • thinkfirstthenspeak - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      The best response I’ve read to the kids argument was from Grant Brisbee

      “What about the children? I play Blue Train and Giant Steps in my daughter’s room as she falls asleep. If she comes home from school one day with a saxophone, I’ll be the proudest feller on the block. And when it comes time to talk about heroin, I will put my foot down and say, “Absolutely no heroin in this house!” But then I’ll give her A Love Supreme because there’s no sense pretending there’s a human being who isn’t flawed. And I’ll do my best to keep her away from the worst, most preventable of those flaws. That’s my problem, not John Coltrane’s. Or Ryan Braun’s.”

  9. 6ball - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM


    ”The home run record is a statistic, not a sacred thing. ”

    True, but it also is Mr Maris’ legacy of accomplishment. It seems unfair to diminish him.


    • raysfan1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      Thing is, it doesn’t diminish Maris’ accomplishment at all. One statistic does not affect another. They are just numbers. Their only importance is what we ascribe to them. 61 homers in 1961 is just as fantastic now as it was then, or in 1997, 1998, 1999, etc.

  10. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    So, he is a Records Worshiper as opposed to an Athlete Worshiper, and condemns (some of) us for not joining him? I have to say, I am not a huge records guy, and I am not a huge player fan…I like watching the game. Maybe that is why I am not so distressed about PEDs: they just don’t matter that much to my enjoyment of the game.

    Nearly all records will be broken eventually, so I am not overly attached to any of them, and I don’t feel as though the accomplishments of past players are diminished by records being broken. Babe Ruth was still really good at baseball, even though several people have broken records he held for 50-100 years.

    I can imagine players would care a great deal about PED use and cheating, but they were not speaking up during the height of the era. It is tough for me to muster outrage more than those who were directly impacted by the cheating. Especially retroactively in the case of McGwire.

  11. ramrene - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Pearlman’s right.

    There is a large segment of fans who don’t care about PED use. In fact, if they had their way they’d allow PED use and have openly said so on many forums. Where would that stance take the game and how can anyone believe what they’re watching to be true or legitimate?

    Now, the other side is saying things like first offense a full year suspension, voiding of their contract, having to play for the major league minimum for 3-years, a second offense and banned for life. To which, I’ll ask the same question where would that stance take the game? In all likelihood it would clean it up. Oh sure, they’rd still be some guys who tried to cheat but once they lose that 10-million dollar contract and have to play for minimum it would at least make them pause a moment to think things through and that second offense would throw them out of the game… no more money, not even MLB minimum.

    The second scenario yields the better results and offers the possibility of cleaning up the game, the former does not.

    I’ll add to Pearlman’s hypothesis…

    People live their sad little lives and want something big and important in it so when a player like a McGwire, or a Bonds start breaking the hallowed records they get some satisfaction in saying, “I was there, I saw it” mistakenly believing by being there to see it that they in some small way were a part of it giving their lives some importance. I may not have seen Babe Ruth play, but I saw better – I saw the All-Time Home Run King Barry Bonds do things that not even Babe Ruth could do, etc.

    • ezthinking - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Pearlman and you are fools to think that stiffer penalties stop usage. War on drugs hasn’t worked. Death penalty doesn’t work. Mandatory minimums don’t work. It’s proved over and over again.
      Cutting contracts and playing for the minimum only enriches owners. The incentive to ‘cheat better’ only increases.
      Banning steroid use is fine, but the reason to do so must be defined better. Clean records is not legitimate. Health reasons makes far more sense.

      • kyzslew77 - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        I think ramrene is a moron, but I will concede that a lifetime ban for one offense thing would probably reduce usage among guys who are already stars. However, more importantly, you are 100% right that you will never, ever, ever create penalties strict enough to stop fringe players from using. What do they have to lose? Either they sneak past whatever testing procedures there are and live their dreams as an MLB player, or they get caught and get banned from something they never could have achieved without PEDs in the first place.

      • ramrene - Aug 9, 2013 at 6:11 PM

        Actually, death penalty works in China as does caining. Now why is it that it works some place but not someplace else?

        Perhaps because we allow too many appeals and it takes a couple decades before the penalty is finally carried out as opposed to quicker justice. We half ass it here in the US but other parts of the world are committed.

        Have you even seen a gum wrapper on the street or graffiti on a wall in China? No, and you know why? Because they deal with things harshly, not liberally like here in the US.

        You may not want to admit it but it does work if you’re serious about it.

        If you really want a system to work, no problem… lifetime ban first offense. That’s it, game over you’re out. Sure, new drugs come out and get past screenings but new screenings follow. Unlimited testing throughout the season so that when the new screenings are good enough to catch that latest batch of drugs they’re out and the beat goes on.

        The problem is drastically reduced to near non-existent, the cheats are thrown out forever, and the records stay legitimate.

        Now, the problem with all that is the player’s union. The first thing that needs to be done if anyone really wants to clean up the game is break the player’s union. Crush it once and for all.

      • ezthinking - Aug 9, 2013 at 6:24 PM


        Well I haven’t been to China, but I do have Google.

        No graffiti in China? Check this out.

    • RBIs Win Games - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Honest question. Do you think the first offense ban has cleaned up gambling in baseball? If yes, then there is a case to be made for cleaning up PEDs by severe penalties, constant monitoring and better (read: more expensive) testing. However, I remain doubtful that there are no gamblers in baseball.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 9, 2013 at 4:16 PM

        Yes, the one-and-done for gambling on baseball is important, but it’s not the only thing that has stopped gambling on baseball. I’d argue that the thing that has cleaned up gambling in baseball the most is the fact that players make enough money to where gambling isn’t an appealing avenue of making money.

        Lifetime offenses for first-time PED use will certainly cut down on it some. But there is still an incentive, even with a lifetime ban, inasmuch as there is a lot of money to be made if you’re crushing baseballs.

    • madhatternalice - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      “People live their sad little lives and want something big and important in it so when a player like a McGwire, or a Bonds start breaking the hallowed records they get some satisfaction in saying, “I was there, I saw it” mistakenly believing by being there to see it that they in some small way were a part of it giving their lives some importance.”

      The straw man argument to end all arguments. Putting aside your perceptions of why people watch baseball, let’s take a look at this.

      If you want to go back and apply today’s rules and sensibilities to past players, then let’s get all the racists and cheaters out of baseball’s history entirely. Let’s make 3771 the new 4256. 755 is the new 762. And, of course, 61 is the new 73.

      Except those individuals were, as CC pointed out, playing within the confines of the game at the time. If you’re drinking tea at work, and then your workplace institutes a no-tea policy, you can’t be retroactively held accountable for that. Why are ballplayers any different?

      Can you also say for certain that none of the other record holders never used anything to enhance their performance? Players in the 20s and 30s were known to sometimes drink in the dugout. Should those players also be removed from our lives?

      I get that your illusions are shattered, and maybe you’re just railing to the winds about this, but I think you’re completely off the mark here. Perhaps you might want to redefine what you call “legitimate,” because the game hasn’t seen your definition…well…ever, really.

    • yahmule - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      “People live their sad little lives and want something big and important in it so when a player like a McGwire, or a Bonds start breaking the hallowed records they get some satisfaction in saying, “I was there, I saw it” mistakenly believing by being there to see it that they in some small way were a part of it giving their lives some importance. I may not have seen Babe Ruth play, but I saw better – I saw the All-Time Home Run King Barry Bonds do things that not even Babe Ruth could do, etc.”


      Largely true. These are the same ignorant people who bust out the tired cliche about “old people thinking everything was better in their day”.

      Either you generalize other eras (as a means of indirectly romanticizing your own) like an asshole or you don’t. Unfortunately way too many people choose option one.

    • sadpandarevolt - Aug 9, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Move to Saudi Arabia. You’ll LOVE Shariah Law.

  12. DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    Time for 1,000 thumbs down…..but mehhhhh…

    I’ll put a spin on Craigs “no one cares about due process until it pertains to them”. I knew Jeff in college – I would not call us close buddies, but I knew him, and have corresponded with him over the years. 99% of the things he gets outraged about, no one on here would disagree with for one second. So please – direct your personal potshots elsewhere. Disagree on the merits all you like, but he is a very sincere guy.

    You may not like his outrage here – but elsewhere you would love it

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      I’ve spoken with Jeff a few times. I have no personal problem with him at all. I find him to be a pretty funny and smart guy. This may be a pretty fundamental difference between he and I, but it is just a difference of opinion.

      • RBIs Win Games - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:26 PM

        Between him and me? I mean, because you are a professional writer.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:27 PM

        Oh yes, and I have seen you note that in other critiques of him – that you find him a stand up guy. I meant my comments for the people replying and trashing him

        And for the record – there is plenty I disagree with him on too.

      • conjecture101 - Aug 9, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        the grammar police wants us to know that Run’s Batted In’s Win Games.

  13. conjecture101 - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    I don’t know whose world view is more delusional. Peralman’s or yours.

    • ezthinking - Aug 9, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Who’s Peralman?

  14. jadaruler - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    Love people want to get retroactive when a lot of them buried their heads in the sand while it was happening. The thing that kills me is that Pearlman knows and wrote about it.

    The media, players, management, and mlb higher UPS dropped the ball. It was fine when McGwire was breaking Maris’ record while taking Andro, which was illegal in Canada. Everything was fine until a roided villian became the home run king. The chickens came home to roost. Ban Mark, Barry and any other user from the Hall. I want their managers and Selig banned too. Don’t tell me you “didn’t know” when we as fans, talked about it as kids. I don’t buy it.

    Chicks digged the long ball, while owners, players and media all received more money as a result of baseball’s return to prominence. I don’t want to hear your tough talk now Jeff. It’s a decade late and billions of dollars short.

  15. jonirocit - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    pylons took rapids

  16. conjecture101 - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:20 PM

    Can we change the name of this blog from harballtalk to the pseudo-rationalist. I wouldn’t want anybody to come here thinking this was a baseball blog. Most of the content in these posts about trying to convince fans how much or how little emotional attachment they should feel to a player or team.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:24 PM

      Equal time, then: tell me: how much emotional attachment should I feel?

      • conjecture101 - Aug 9, 2013 at 8:02 PM

        Probably less than you feel towards Ryan Braun and more than you feel towards the Braves.

      • raysfan1 - Aug 9, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        You mean the Braun about whom Craig said, “We know, pretty clearly, that Braun is not a good person in a lot of ways and that we couldn’t trust him as far as we can throw him.” (

        If you truly think Craig likes Braun, then you are doing some very bad conjecturing.

  17. vader3234 - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    when bonds came to my giants I was in high school and have always seen him as tool the giants used to succeed, nothing else. If your kids are trying to have lives like these guys, then you are an absentee parent.

  18. mplsjoe - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:18 PM

    The Stephen Glass comparison couldn’t be more flawed. Glass wasn’t banned from journalism. Any publication that wants to hire Glass may do so if it chooses to do so. Pearlman would prohibit the Cardinals, Dodgers, and all other teams whcih might want to hire McGwire from doing so.

    No one should be forced to hire McGwire, of course, and no one is forced to do so. But if a team wants to hire him as a hitting instructor or in any other role, they should be free to do so.

  19. goawaydog - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    I wonder how this would play out if Bary Bonds or Sammy Sosa had a job as hitting instructor.

  20. scatterbrian - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    “The same goes for Barry Bonds, who didn’t seem to mind that 755 home runs had been hit by an iconic figure who endured unfathomable racial hostilities en route to bettering Babe Ruth.”

    This is what frustrates me. Bonds used drugs to break a “sacred” record set by another dude who used drugs. Sportswriters only seem to be outraged by the drug users who were playing and using while the writers were covering baseball.

  21. yousuxxors - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:47 PM

    I’m going to make an all PED baseball league and let’s see which league the people will watch.

  22. yousuxxors - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    where were the writers when this was going on? where were the fans who going nuts over the homers? oh yea, at the game or watching it. everyone is equally as guilty in this. power hitters get paid and people love them. writers in the 60s wrote about people using anabolic steroids, the one that works the vest and no one gave a shit then. meth helping concentration. who cares? injury healed? we forgive you. I think this shit became so huge because the media sensationalizes everything in all facets of life. when money is involved people will always cheat. if you care so much about cheating go bring the outrage to wall street. I think Craig is spot on with the hero worship. BUT THE KIDs 😦 its not rge kids loser its you.

  23. joerevs300 - Aug 9, 2013 at 4:49 PM

    PED’s should match gambling: One strike and you’re out.

    Anyone who doesn’t think THAT level of punishment would all but eliminate PED’s from the game of baseball (outside of the fringe players trying to hang on) is delusional.

    Also, mandatory language in baseball contracts that VOID them if a player is busted using PED’s.

    I think the 50/100/lifetime was simply baseball saying “We don’t have a big problem”.

    If McGuire, Sosa, A-Rod, Braun, Bonds et al, isn’t enough to make this worth fighting for, then baseball has no integrity.

  24. skinsfanwill - Aug 9, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    Sad part of this is, Barry Bonds “was” essentially banned from baseball. No team would touch him with a 10 foot pole and he had years left in him.

    • nbjays - Aug 9, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Chemically enhanced years, mind you, but years nonetheless.

  25. nbjays - Aug 9, 2013 at 5:16 PM

    I, personally do not regard any baseball records as “sacred”, simply because, as has already been stated, no one knows for sure how many are held by completely clean players (nor can we).

    In the same vein, I do not view any baseball players, or any athletes or other celebrities, as “heroes”. My only exception to this would be perhaps Jackie Robinson, but that is more for who he was and what he did as a person, not just as a ballplayer.

    The definition of hero is a very personal thing, it means something different to everyone. My own definition of a hero is someone who, by their words or actions, makes a profound, positive change in the life of another person (or persons). Thus, to me, a hero is a person who puts themselves in danger to save another life, or a gifted teacher who positively affects the lives of students. Actors, singers, athletes, politicians… though they may be good people, are not heroes, in my book. I can admire them, maybe even envy them a little, but don’t ask me to worship them.

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