We live in a seemingly unjust world — so why should we expect Major League Baseball to be any different? Just recently, the game of baseball was rocked when the MLB announced that it would be suspending 12 players for 50 games each due to their involvement with performance enhancing drugs and the so-called medical clinic that distributed them.
Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz, a big bat for the Texas Rangers, were apart of that cast of suspended players.
That’s fair, right? After all, you do the crime, you do the time.
All is well until you get to the eye of this hurricane of controversy, which centers on New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez. While all the other players that were suspended took their punishments like men and slunk off to serve their time, A-Rod is, per usual, deflecting blame and fighting his punishment, which amounted to a suspension that would cover this season and next.
While the very few Alex Rodriguez sympathizers would argue that the highest paid player in baseball is receiving negative special treatment, the majority of baseball nation is clamoring that the suspension is not enough.
Their point of reference: Pete Rose, the League’s all-time hits leader.
When you stack side-by-side the crimes against baseball committed by both Alex Rodriguez and Pete Rose, you got to wonder why Rose was banned from the game for the rest of his life and Rodriguez is free to return in a couple seasons. There lies the injustice.
Who tarnished the game more?
It is a sad, but necessary, question to ask. Both players were in a position to impact the game and engaged in unethical behavior. Rose bet on baseball and Rodriguez juiced up to make him a more effective player.
Sounds kind of like a push to me.
Betting on baseball
In fact, while Rose’s behavior was despicable, he was met with a seemingly overzealous punishment. Major League Baseball has been hyper sensitive to gambling ever since the 1919 World Series and the infamous Black Sox Scandal. Rose’s involvement paled in comparison to those events, but Major League Baseball still made an example out of him.
Rodriguez cheated the game by taking illegal substances to give himself an edge. Not only that, but he used that advantage to enrich himself beyond any player’s dream and persistently denied his cheating ways.
The only difference is that Major League Baseball has taken a hard line on curbing gambling on the game, but has sat on the fence with performance enhancing drugs. Why else has the “Steroid Era” of baseball dragged on so long?
If the MLB’s upper brass wanted to stop this epidemic, they would make an example out of guys like Rodriguez and show that there is no room for that in baseball.
Essentially a life sentence
There is still some room for justice, though, as Rodriguez, who is 38, is already getting up there in age. Sitting out this season and next might let rust to settle in that he won’t be able to shake during an attempted comeback.
But for now, Rodriguez continues to compete in games, delaying the inevitable justice waiting for him — or lack there of.