Everybody Out

Joe.jpg

hide captionShoeless Joe Jackson — bribes vs. steroids.

Source: Getty/APA/Hulton Archive

I saw Eight Men Out this weekend. You know, it's the classic baseball tragedy. In case the only scandal you can remember these days involves drugs you can't pronounce or acronyms you don't know, the Black Sox scandal used to be the worst thing to happen to the game (besides of course, the color barrier that existed for so long.) A group of Chicago White Sox players, fed up with a cheapskate owner, took money from gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series. I'm not a baseball fan the way Neal is, but I was struck by the yearning I felt for a simpler scandal — one that was about money, too, but in such a different way. The players were so incredibly used by both sides — the gamblers, the owners — and were so painfully unaware of the stakes. Now that the game is so much older, the players and their salaries have grown to impossibly muscular heights. We've had a bitter strike, a cheapened home run race, and now, the Mitchell report — a list of players that will do anything to hang on to another year of paychecks the 1919 White Sox would have never comprehended. I'm sad for baseball, and I'm sad for myself (though I always knew that a certain plump pitcher was a stinker), but most of all, I'm sad for poor Shoeless Joe. No wonder he haunted Kevin Costner.

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In some ways, what a great opportunity for baseball. What would happen if baseball purged all of the confirmed steroid users, went back out to colleges and triple A teams, recruited fresh faces and talent, and moved forward with a rigorous drug and steroid testing regimen?

Although I am not holding my breath for this solution, I think it would absolutely reinvigorate the game. Fans would find something to be excited about again.

Sent by Rob Bach | 7:53 AM | 12-18-2007

This what happens when grown men try to make a living playing a child's game!

"I need a fountain-of-youth shot to keep me playing." BOO-HOO, little rich boy who had to GROW UP!
(I'm almost to the point of complete agreement with Rob, start over!)

Sent by Harold | 3:18 PM | 12-18-2007

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