Oh! somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children escape a beatin’;
But there is no joy in Mudville—mighty Barry has been caught a cheatin’.
With apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer, U.S. writer and poet.
Baseball is all about records and statistics. The greed and dishonest competition have served to further taint a game that through most its history provided fans a pleasurable escape from the quotidian grind.
When The Misanthrope looks back, Hank Aaron looks better and better. As exposure of steroid use continues to be uncovered among baseballs homerun hitters, the better the players of another generation look. Barry Bonds’ childish defense that he didn’t know he was rubbing steroid cream on his muscles, which soon starting bursting through his shirt like Popeye after eating a can of spinach is simply asinine.
Bonds and Mark McGwire’s records should have asterisks placed next to their names in the record books. Baseball is a toothless organization after selling its sole to television and burying players in cash (e.g., Alex Rodriguez receives $250 million for a 10-year contract). It’s doubtful baseball with its owner-commissioner, will do anything to anger the players.
What all this proves is that Hammering Hank needs an exclamation point beside his name because he faced stronger pitching, played in larger stadiums, broke Babe Ruth’s home run record by a large margin, and DID NOT CHEAT!