Monday, January 11, 2010

Clean players should get proper credit

Talk about steroid use in baseball tends to focus on the players caught or admitting to cheating. But what about their colleagues who stayed clean, who resisted temptation, who played baseball the right way? How should their careers be viewed? How should those players be rewarded? Should they be given credit for succeeding during the steroid era?

Former New York Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina is a great example of this dilemma. He pitched from 1991 to 2008, compiling a 270-153 record with a 3.68 ERA and 2,813 strikeouts. He made five All-Star teams and won seven Gold Gloves. Mussina's Hall of Fame credentials are pretty solid.

But how much better would his stats have been if he hadn't pitched during the steroid era? How many fewer home runs would he have given up? How many more wins would he have? Mussina deserves credit for pitching against known users such as Alex Rodriguez and Mark McGwire.

Players like Moose who are borderline Hall of Fame candidates should get extra credit in the character, sportsmanship and integrity categories that put them over the threshold for entrance. In a sense, it seems wrong to have to reward players for doing the right thing. But when so many of their counterparts did not, there needs to be recognition that they were playing at a disadvantage. I hope the writers will take that into consideration when judging these players.

Thanks to Mandalatv via en.Wikipedia for the photo.

No comments:

Post a Comment