Baseballistic
All Things Baseball

Stop The Suspicion — Just Accept Greatness

Has the sports world finally reached a time where we can’t just accept that an amazing athlete is naturally great?  

I certainly hope not. 

Floyd Landis’ Tour de France fiasco has caused fans to suspect all great athletes of steroid use

In the past few months alone, great athletes such as Floyd Landis and Marion Jones have been accused of doping, which is giving fans the mind-set, that everyone who is on top of the crowd must be suspected.  But can we not look past the shadow of steroid use in sports and accept that some of the best athletes are amazing because of natural ability?

Over the past week, the baseball world has been very suspicious of Phillies’ slugger Ryan Howard.  Why?  Because Howard is on a Homerun-hitting fiesta and has extended his MLB lead in the HR race, hitting his 55th and 56th blasts of the season today.  There is no evidence of Ryan Howard using steroids — he hasn’t been tied to BALCO or any other steroid-supplying organizations — and yet many fans can’t just accept that he’s clean until proven otherwise. 

Jose Canseco’s Juiced may be a major cause of the suspicion

Have the allegations of Jose Canseco in Juiced, the recent discoveries of the use of PED’s by Floyd Landis, and the BALCO and Grimsley-gate scandals put the sports world into a permanent state of suspicion over greatness?  Will any hitter who goes on a tear, any NFL runningback who rushes for 150yds a game, any NBA star who scores 40pts a day, and any cyclist who dominates the Tour de France always be subject to empty accusations from fans? 

That is definitely not the right direction for the sports world to be headed in.  For every Floyd Landis or Jose Canseco, are there not dozens or hundreds of great athletes who are spectacular because of natural ability?  The sports world has been damaged by cheaters to the point where it’s hard for many to believe that any one is clean.  As fans of any sport, we cannot allow that to happen.

Ryan Howard has some words of wisdom for the skeptical fans

For the good of the sports world, I suggest we take Ryan Howard’s advice: Every athlete is clean, unless proven otherwise. 

_______________________________________________________________________

To lighten the mood :-), here’s the trivia segment. 

The last Q and A were…

Q: Only 20 different switch-hitters (21 including Nick Swisher today) have hit 30HRs in one season, in MLB history.  Who was the first to do it?

A: Ripper Collins.  He hit 35HR for the St. Louis Cardinals way back in 1934

And the trivia question for this post…

Excluding Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, at which MLB stadium has Ryan Howard hit the most of his 80 career Homeruns? 

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