The Untouchables

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

As most of us have heard, yesterday Mark McGwire finally admitted to using steroids. Now he finally closes the book on "not talking about the past."

He's just another name in the so-called Steroid Era, which has tested the faith of many baseball fans and cast a shadow of a doubt over all Major League Baseball Players.

A few players over the past 20 years have been "above suspicion" for one reason or another. There are four players, in my mind, that may cause Major League Baseball to lose any credibility it has left if it is discovered that they used steroids or any type of performance enhancing drug.

Ken Griffey, Jr.- He was one of the best players of the 1990's, and currently has 630 career home runs. He may have had a chance at the All-Time Home Run record, but injuries derailed his career in the early 2000's. Those injuries actually helped his credibility as being steroid-free, and he is one of the few home run hitters people don't think did steroids.

Cal Ripken, Jr.- The Iron Man. His stretch of 2,632 consecutive games played is truly a record that will never be broken. After the player's strike cost MLB the 1994 World Series, baseball was in trouble, and his breaking of Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 was one of the first steps on the sport's long road to recovery. If it was revealed that he did steroids to stay on the field during that streak, it would be a blow from which the sport may never recover.

Albert Pujols- While he may not have played throughout the entire Steroid Era, Pujols is seen by many to be the face of clean, steroid-free baseball in the future, especially since Alex Rodriguez admitted to doping.

Derek Jeter- Jeter has always been the epitome of what a professional athlete is supposed to be. He's generous, smart, says all the right things without sounding scripted, and plays the game the way it's supposed to be played. While he may never be considered the greatest player of his generation, he is a member of 5 World Series Championships (and hopefully with still more to come), and one of the sport's all-around "good guys" that actually lives up to being a role model for kids.

I'm sure there are players that would rock each individual fan's faith based on their allegiances, but I feel that these players would affect the majority of baseball fans.

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Luis Calex January 27, 2010 at 3:56 PM  

Of the four men you listed, I think Ken Griffey , Jr. will hurt the sport the least, in part because of his injuries and the fact that he isn't threatening the record books. There will be that initial shock, but that can give way to steroid-era cynicism (McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, A-Rod, etc.). The squeaky-clean image can be dismissed as a facade.

Ripken, Pujols, or Jeter would be more devastating to the sport for the reasons you stated above. Most damaging to me (longterm) would be Cal Ripken, because the Ironman record is supposed to be a record that pretty much stands the test of time. Who plays a full 162-game season nowadays?

John Healy January 27, 2010 at 11:40 PM  

I would have to agree with you about Cal Ripken. Not only that, but he is already in the Hall of Fame and if it were to be true he used performance-enhancing drugs it will shock the baseball world and I'm not sure how the media, players, and fans would respond.

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