A slap in the face of Integrity

Here we go again, a storm is brewing and is setting its sight on America’s so called pastime. It just seems like this type of storm comes around annually. Although, I would probably consider this storm more of a hurricane than just your typical, afternoon summer thunderstorm. Major League Baseball is once again coming to a crossroads. Another year, another scandal involving players using PEDs (performance enhancing drugs) and so that key word: INTEGRITY, comes into question again. Like I stated before, this year’s scandal is one really, really big, huge, whatever word you could use to describe bigger than big scandal.

The MLB is planning to suspend about 20 or so players that have been connected to a Miami area clinic, Biogenesis, run by Tony Bosch, a firm being investigated for its dealings with PEDs. Players associated with the clinic include the Yankees’ much maligned superstar, Alex Rodriguez, who in 2009 admitted to using PEDs and Ryan Braun, the Milwaukee Brewers’ superstar who just last year was actually suspended for a test which showed higher testosterone levels but won his appeal citing that the sample had been tampered with and other logistical issues which really just aren’t important. There are about 20 others but that isn’t the point. The point is the ethical issues the sport faces and ultimately, society as a whole faces. The ‘Steroid Era’ has now been around almost longer than a decade. A cloud just hanging over the sport, for over a decade. I think it’s time to realize that some players are going to keep trying to get away with using PEDs and will not stop. Remember these reports about the players and the clinic are alleged, not fact, but a wise man once told me, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” And now, it seems like Major League Baseball is caught in a wildfire.

I’m guessing you’ve all heard the saying “Nice guys finish last,” well that may be true but at least nice guys have their values and integrity intact. Oh look! There’s that word again. In-teg-rity. “The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.” Most people know what it means, but I decided to get a more professional definition and Google it. How can we restore Integrity to this wonderful, national pastime of our great nation? I think the answer lies within how convicted players are punished. A first time offense gives a player a 50 game suspension without pay. A second offense is equal to 100 games, no pay and a 3rd time offense is well, let’s say you’ll have to find a new job. In my opinion, this system has failed. Many players have been caught twice and have been allowed to return after their suspensions. A new system should be implemented in which players only get two chances. Two because we’re all human beings and we all make mistakes, but if you get caught a second time, you’re out! Players need to be scared of the consequences, and a new way of punishing PED users can aid in that. Kids look up to superstar athletes when they’re little, heck I still do at my age. Cheating is not okay and it never will be. It’s not “cool” as some of you might say. It’s not okay in the classroom nor the baseball field. Society should be built on core values, such as working hard and being honest. That way we can restore and build upon the integrity that makes our nation the best in the world by far. Yes, integrity.

[Some information was used from an Outside the Lines Report (ESPN)]

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