There is an adage in sports that is really only mentioned when someone is caught doing something they should not be doing.
“If you aren’t cheating, you’re not trying.”
This old saying may come up more than we would like as sports fans, which probably makes it a true saying more often than not.
Of course, it really irks Hall of Fame baseball players, especially Reggie Jackson or Bob Gibson. Just recently, Jackson said if anyone who did steroids were to get voted into the Hall of Fame, none of the current Hall of Famers would attend the ceremony.
Well, considering Jackson has never personally escorted Pete Rose out of Cooperstown during the ceremonies, his words really do not mean anything. He is just mad that his name falls down the all-time home run ladder.
I do not know what sparked Jackson’s outburst, even though he is famous for running his mouth more than Usian Bolt runs 100-meter dashes. Except Bolt has a reason to run. Jackson just talks to try and stay relevant.
In order to get his name plastered across ESPN, Jackson blasted those who took steroids, namely current Yankee Alex Rodriguez. I guess Jackson feels so bad about his comments that he is going to personally apologize to Rodriguez. Which basically means he wants a way to remain tight with the Yankee clubhouse.
But Jackson did bring up a point, actually. As we continue to pull away from the steroids era, how will it actually be remembered? The early thoughts may now be forming.
With the way pitchers are dominating the game, it is hard to believe the steroids era was that long ago, but every now and again, some idiot will test positive and get suspended for 50 games. In Manny Rameriz’s case, be stupid twice and get suspended 100 games.
Many consider steroids to be a huge stain on the sports. To me, there are two different eras of the steroid era. It all depended who was on the juice.
When Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa were chasing Roger Maris’ record of 61 home runs in a season, which McGwire would later claim, it is obvious now that both of them were on steroids. But no one cared because every night they would tune in to see if McGwire or Sosa would get one home run closer or break the record.
It was not even an afterthought if they were doing steroids because it was the “home-run derby” that saved baseball. The sport needed the spark a few years after the nasty strike that turned away fans. There were many fans that came back because of those two.
Plus they were likeable. They were not jerks and were considered team players. They did not complain and went out and played the game the “right way.” Both managers loved each player.
The tide started to turn on the steroid era when Barry Bonds became the face of the long-ball. Bonds was a jerk who felt that his teammates and the fans should endear themselves to him rather than vice versa.
Bonds attacked McGwire’s record and would break it, but people outside of San Francisco did not like him. Former players and Hall of Famers did not like him. The media did not really like him.
That is when the steroid era became more of a problem than fun. That is what people like Jackson remember the era for. He was not doing much complaining when McGwire and Sosa were bashing home runs. Why? Because he probably found it fun like everyone else.
While the steroid era was a black spot for baseball — let alone illegal — it is time to move on from it. It happened, deal with it and if someone gets elected to the Hall of Fame, is it that much worse than the spitters pitchers threw throughout the 1970s and 80s?