Blog Entry

The Day that Baseball Stats Died

Posted on: February 9, 2009 10:51 pm

It's my wife's 30th birthday today.  February 9th 2009.  What better gift could she receive than what she got today?  And I didn't give it to her.  She's a Mets fan, and a very intelligent one at that.  She is not a fly by night, "David Wright is Cuter than Derek Jeter" fan.  My wife could actually tell you the infield fly rule. But more importantly, when I walk in the door and she's watching the Mets, she yells at the TV, and asks me to explain to her, "why the Mets consistently get runners on first & thrid with no outs and cannot score?"  As a fan of the GAME of Baseball, she got something today that no one could have ever expected.  All the records set within the past few years may get wped clean.   Think about this.  The All time Hit king is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame, because he cheated and gambled...albeit, after his playing days.  Now, 104 players that tested positive in 2003 for steroids, not to mention, those already outed in the Mitchell report, means that the MAJORITY of BASEBALL PLAYERS within that era (about 1994 - 2003) were taking some form of HGH, Steroids or performance enhancing drug.  Should any of them get into the Hall of Fame?  Not Bonds.  Not Clemens.  Not Palmeiro.  McGwire or Sosa?  Now Alex?  Here's my opinion:  They should.  I love the idea that Bob Costas came up with.  Put a plaque at the entrance to Cooperstown explaining how there are eras in Baseball that has been defined by the actions of owners and players.  They have included expansion, race, the war, the growth of America,  None more prevalent than the steroids era.  If Selig had to look back at a guy like Judge Kenisaw Mountain Landis, he would wipe any record set in this era that was set by a player named in the Mitchell Report or as part of the 104 players in the 2003 drug test.  Meaning...we go back to Maris hit 61 and Aaron hit 755.  We need to applaud the players like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron & Jackie Robinson for being the eptiome of a ball player all while dealing with bouts of racism in their paths.  We need to take longer looks at guys Ted Williams & Joe DiMaggio who paused their pro careers in order to fight tyranny in Germany for our country, many years before one Pat Tillman ever did.  We need to make sure those players who were awarded MVP's in this era relinquished them IF NAMED, to the runner up.  We need to start falling in love with SMALL BALL Players like Ichiro, Reyes, Hanley Ramirez, Jimmy Rollins and yes, Derek Jeter to name a few.  We could love a guy like Rickey Henedrson this year just a little more with all that is going on in the major leagues as Rickey enters Cooperstown.  The last of the great base-stealers really is, like he said when he passed Lou Brock, "The greatest of all-time."  The fact of the matter is that after hearing Alex Rodriguez admit that he used performance enhancers for 3 years because of the "pressure of living up to his enormous contract"  why was everybody else doing it?  To get that big of a contract!  So he got that contract prior to using, then used to live up to the moniker of being 1 of the greatest players of all time, even though he was well on his way to being talked about like that for eternity.  What is scary is that I get it.  He was a young guy on a team that had Palmeiro, Pudge Rodriguez, & weren't they introduced to steroids by former Ranger Jose Canseco?  Right Now, Canseco is a sell out, but absolutely believable.  A-Rod being that Young & Influential to millions of baseball fans, including the kids could actually do everything in his grasp to be the best.  Immature guys do that, and we all know that he's very immature.  The beauty of today is that he is mature now.  He was smart enough to see what Pettite did and how Baseball, the league, New York and most importantly, his teammates reacted to Andy telling the truth.  They supported Andy, then they should support A-Rod.  The bad Opt-out scenario got wiped away by swallowing his pride and contacting the Yankee brass to apologize and do what it takes to stay a Yankee.  People, the guy is growing up.  But can we really believe that he's drug free every year other than 2001-2003?  Trust is a 2 way street, and Alex, you have done nothing to earn that trust from us.  Lastly, I bring up the opt-out scenario for a reason.  A-Rod has clauses in his contract that he can earn more money for every milestone he approaches which can equal up to $30 million dollars.  The first thing you need to do is donate whatever you make from those incentives of that $30 million dollars to educating the young children that looked up to you as to the dangers of steroids and lasting damage it could do to a human being.  It's not like we'd look at each milestone you reach as legitimate anyway.  But we would care about each milestone you hit because of the amount of good that would come from each milestone you hit.  Regardless, today is a sad day for baseball, and the Elias Sports Bureau.  Get rid of the stats that mattered to most these past say 20 years.  Even if the entire league were on an even playing field because they were ALL on steroids.  Its the stats that mattered to historians.  They shouldn't matter any more. 

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