Blog Entry

Cheating in baseball?? Really?

Posted on: February 15, 2009 12:34 pm
Edited on: February 16, 2009 12:35 pm

A-Rod has never been a favorite player of mine, in fact I was thrilled as I drove and listened to the 4th game of the World Series two years ago and heard about the “opt-out”. I was happy to be rid of the giant contract—only to see the Yankees make an even worse financial decision and overpay to re-sign him.

The news this week has been only mildly disturbing since performance enhancers have become so commonly mentioned in baseball. My grandfather, who I remember having ballgames on the TV since I was young, recently passed away. Last July when I saw him and lamented how all the cheats were ruining the game, he said something to the effect that cheating is part of baseball in so many ways and this is just the newest way.

I write for work, legal writing more than anything, and have no great desire to be heard to want to write a lot more in my free time, but they give us this blog space and I figure there may be some people out there who are getting tired of the focus on the steroids and would rather just watch baseball so here goes my first blog entry.

Cheating is so prevalent in baseball, it is interwoven into the game itself. Stories and legends abound regarding digging into second base, sliding spikes up with harmful intent, sandpaper on the ball, a nick in a belt to cut the ball, a corked bat, a little saliva (or whatever) on the ball to give it some extra movement, stealing signs, and so many other ways I won’t try to list. Steriods and PEDs seem to be the hot topic today. I hate the idea of those phenomenons in the sport, but know that in the 70's, many teams had amphetamines, known as "greenies" in bowls inside their clubhouses. During the long grind of the season, getting “up’ for games may have done as much as steroids for performance over the course of the season.

People seem to want to exclude the players who “cheated” from the hall of fame. I got news for them. Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry was infamous for doctoring the ball while playing in the major leagues. He would perform these alterations to the ball almost prior to every pitch. A quick touch of his cap or sleeve would load up his famous "Vaseline" ball. He was actually one of the few pitchers in baseball history to be suspended for doctoring balls. Whitey Ford and Don Sutton are just a few other names which often come up when talking about this form of cheating. John McGraw in an era of dirty baseball, was the dirtiest player on the dirtiest team. He hid balls in the outfield, spiked opposing players, watered down the base paths, and grew the infield grass to deaden bunts. There are many other examples.

To close, I saw Roy Oswalt speaking about how A-Rod cost him money if he got a hit in one of the games Oswalt had been pitching to beat him. Oswalt may want to think about the benefit he may have received from one of his infielders, a certain SS. It appears PEDs were prevalent to the extent that they mark an era in baseball. Just like players in the dead ball era get some credit for their stats in relevance to the era, maybe we should have players in the steroid era getting less credit for their ballooned stats.

Category: MLB
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