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the integrity of the... game

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jan 13, 2010

He cheated. Everyone suspected it; now at last he’s admitted it. Mark McGwire, who shattered baseball’s single-season home-run record, was on steroids.

Now that he has confessed and apologized, some baseball journalists are inclined to forgive and forget. But a former colleague, the old fireballing relief pitcher “Goose” Gossage, will have none of it. Gossage, a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame, thinks McGwire should be permanently ineligible for that honor. "The integrity of the Hall of Fame and the numbers and the history are all in jeopardy,” says Gossage. Most sportswriters apparently agree; despite his impressive statistics, McGwire drew under 24% of their support in the latest voting for new Hall of Fame members. There won’t be a bronze plaque in the Hall of Fame for Mark McGwire anytime soon.

But there is a bronze bas-relief of Rembert Weakland in the Milwaukee cathedral right now.

Baseball has standards. When one man violates the integrity of the game, his colleagues object. They don’t want to be associated with a cheater.

Is there just one Goose Gossage in the American hierarchy? Just one bishop who will rear back and fire a rising fastball, high and tight? Just one prelate who will say that he doesn’t want to be associated with a bishop who has violated the integrity of the Church?

And speaking of bishops, major-league baseball commissioner Bud Selig issued this statement about McGwire’s confession:

The so-called ’steroid era’ — a reference that is resented by the many players who played in that era and never touched the substances — is clearly a thing of the past, and Mark’s admission today is another step in the right direction.

Baseball fans have grown cynical, and with ample reason. One hero after another has been exposed as a fraud. Every record of the past two decades is viewed with suspicion. Every leading team has at least one or two stars under suspicion. And you say the steroid problem is “clearly a thing of the past,” Bud? Seems to me we've heard that song somewhere before.

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  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Jan. 14, 2010 7:38 PM ET USA

    Reminiscent of Napolitano's "The system worked." Riiiiiight.

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