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The tide must be turned

August 11, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

So much of Major League Baseball's recent past has been tied into steroid use that we cannot do anything but applaud the action to drop the hammer on superstar Alex Rodriguez and a dozen other players for their involvement with a now-closed Florida clinic.

Rodriguez was hit with a 211-game suspension, while other players were hit with 50-game suspensions, largely because Major League Baseball believes he impeded the investigation into the role of the Biogenesis clinic, as well as lying about his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

The $275 million man blames his longer suspension in part on the size of his contract, making him an ideal target for a way out of paying him for the Yankees.

We are long past the time when ballplayers should be considered as role models off the field, but Rodriguez carries the anti-hero athlete right onto the baseball diamond with his attitude.

Baseball has lived for far too long with asterisks on its record books. The steroid-era is a gigantic asterisk that will surely see some players who were the product of laboratory genius getting into the Hall of Fame sometime.

The purity of the game is in question when non-juiced players with comparatively meager statistics are placed up against performance-enhanced drug users in Hall of Fame ballotting. Great players who would have been greater but for the gems of the diamond created in the lab are denied their shot at baseball immortality.

For that alone, the supsensions are warranted. And given the supposed talents of Rodriguez leading to multimillion-dollar, multi-year contracts for his entire career, his attitude is outsized.

But his attitude may be the only thing that wasn't chemically enhanced about his career, having been created by an over-inflated sense of entitlement brought about by constant praise and an inflow of huge money.

We applaud MLB's latest attempt to stem the tide of athletes who were made, not born, being the game's biggest heroes.

 
 

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