Sylvester Carmouche was a jockey at Delta Downs racetrack in 1990 who took his ride across the center of the racetrack, while under a heavy fog, and won his race. He was later discovered. Then there was Danny Almonte, a pitcher in a Little League world series match that found him a lot older than the 12 year old age group that he was suppose to be competing in. He was actually 14 years old, which explained the velocity of his pitching against much younger and smaller youngsters. And let’s not forget the great Ben Johnson who was once tagged as the fastest man alive, but, who later tested for anabolic steroids, which explained his peak performance against men that brought only themselves to the track that day. And let’s not forget the ladies here. Rosie Ruiz had a short life of fame after winning a Boston Marathon in record time. She was later discovered after simply jumping out of a crowd, then running across the finish line.
These players that have claimed their fame by rubbing the shinny lamp of the Fraud Jenie, deserve to be with their ban of thieves.
There are few endeavors in human existence that are more prized, more cherished, held closer to the heart, then those Rightfully Earned on the field of athletic competition. In fact, the Greeks had such solemn respect for these events in human interaction that they even surrounded those competitors in myths and legends. And so have we to this day.
The baseball field is a level surface on which two teams meet and compete. There are strict protocols and accepted practices that are out in the open for all to see, from the cheapest bleacher seat, to the million dollar owner’s box. We all watch with acceptance, with no pre-dispensed understanding of exceptions. We would never deliberately hold our youngest and most impressionable children to the notion that cheating is a good thing to have, before the game begins. The field itself - being level, in plain view for everyone to see, lends itself to the contest that pits man against man - evenly, without exception, without quarter, without knowing in advance who will do what. It’s a contest between mind and muscle, nothing more, nothing less.
I REPEAT - NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS.
With every footstep that enters the Baseball Hall of Fame, those letters should be inscribed in the keystone overhead. Let those words be the judge of what’s accepted in our game, noting more, nothing less.
For those of us who have watched young men grow older before their time, who have strained at the thought of watching the hopes and ambitions of those not cut-out for a professional career, and for those whose families must come to grips with an income source not from baseball because of those that didn’t play by the rules - I say those that cheated deserve every bit of anguish, pain, disgrace, embarrassment, and distrust in any and all ventures in life.