Thursday, August 5, 2010

Baseball Records: No Longer Important

Since the steroids era came and went in baseball, fans have become very negative towards records in baseball.  And they should be.  There is no reason to care about any records anymore.  They are all tainted with cheating and lies and fans shouldn't celebrate any of these accomplishments.

When Mark McGwire beat the single season home run record, not only did baseball need it, everyone wanted it to happen.  I was cheering for Sosa, but we all knew how incredible McGwire's chase was.  We didn't believe he used steroids, not like we do today.  It was medicine for his eyes, he was always really big, he always hit a lot of homers, players started lifting and getting stronger etc.  We tried telling ourselves whatever we could to make sure he wasn't cheating to beat this record.  When number 62 flew out of the park, the world celebrated and baseball had started the climb back to importance after 1994 turned off a lot of fans.

We started to see this trend with Barry Bonds.  I have nothing good to say about Bonds.  He was a huge entitled jerk who started using steroids to gain more attention the home run hitters were getting.  He would play the victim, having pity parties on TV to try and make us feel bad for him.  But when he broke McGwire's record, some people still cared and marveled at the record.  More people didn't.

Now we get to Alex Rodriguez's chase for 600.  It got very little coverage during the summer dead zone of sports.  It wasn't even a big story on ESPN.  They would rather run a possible Favre retirement story than cover a sacred baseball record being broken.  What happens when A-Rod beats the all time home run record?  Will it get pushed behind NFL training camp coverage?  Is there anybody we can trust anymore?  Even the incredible pitching records have become lackluster.  Pitching doesn't get people into the stands either.

Baseball records are dead, and we all can blame steroids.  Nobody cares anymore, as they are all based on lies.  Even pitching records aren't entirely trustworthy.  Baseball has made a comeback, but it will only be short lived.  With the haves and have nots, only about 8 teams can compete for a championship, and even more franchises have little root for or get interested in.  Who is a Pirates or Royals fan anymore?  Why would any kid root for them?  They are just another farm team for other big clubs.  A-Rod showed more about baseball than just steroids, it showed most people don't care. 

Hockey has rebuilt itself after the lockout, but they don't have to worry about records being tainted.  The NFL and NBA will recover from their probable future lockouts.  But baseball may never because the records and numbers they held so dear are being broken by cheaters.  Steroids are on their way out, but something else will return to further harm the game.  It is sad to see baseball fall behind like this, but they can still stop the bleeding before its too late.

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