Monday, July 27, 2009

Did He or Didn't He?

Henry Aaron used the occasion of the Hall of Fame ceremonies this past week to lobby again for two issues clearly important to him: 1. the eligibility of Pete Rose and, 2. placing an asterisk on the placques of any players elected who were found to have used PED's.

Not every member of the Hall agrees with Aaron's position on either issue but it is safe to say that when someone as clean as the home run king, non-asterisk division, feels cheaters should be eligible, the door has opened albeit with conditions. According to some reports, Bud Selig is reconsidering the ban imposed on Pete Rose, who definitely cheated but outside the lines. No asterisk for him should he get in. All Pete did was bet on baseball games...including ones he managed.

This whole business of cheating now permeates sport. It is impossible for anyone to win these days without questions being raised. No sooner had Alberto Contador of Spain won this year's Tour de France than allegations surfaced of something suspicious in his prodigious ride on one of the stages in the Alps. In an article in the NY Times, former champion Greg LeMond was quoted as writing: “It is like a Mercedes sedan winning on a Formula One circuit. There is something wrong. It would be interesting to know what’s under the hood.”

Tour organizers were thrilled no one was disqualified this year for using PED's. Lance Armstrong came in third in his first race since coming out of retirement and gained much sympathy and respect not only for appearing to be more approachable but for having failed to win while clearly riding under intense scrutiny for any possible drug abuses.

Closer to home, Raul Ibanez went on an unprecdented power tear in the first half of the season and rumors began appearing in the blogosphere he must be using.

Do well and you're going to be the subject of innuendo or worse. Do badly and, well, you get the sympathy vote. Congratulations, Lance, you won over those tough Frenchmen for what you didn't do...allegedly!

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