The Mitchell Report

This is indeed a sad day for baseball. Not since the Black Sox scandal of 1919 has the game been in such a low place. Like then, the sport is at risk of losing its status as American's pastime and becoming nothing more than second rate entertainment. The actions taken now will determine if the game of baseball retains its place in the hearts of millions of Americans.

For ten years we have known that steroids were infecting the game, throwing it out of balance. Chemically enhanced players contorted the delicate measures that are the geometry of baseball. "There is nothing more perfect than ninety feet from home to first," Roger Angell wrote. Pumped and juiced behemoths wrecked a game where beauty is measured in half steps and outstretched arms.

The whole steroid era, starting with whispered rumors, leading to open conjecture, then providing for congressional hearings and, finally culminating with today's report and the naming of names, has been disgusting and depressing.

Cheaters at baseball should be offered no quarter. We should advocate for the dismissal of all players who have credible accusations against them. No long drawn out law suits. No benefit of the doubt. They should get the Joe Jackson treatment. They should be banned for life.

Some may be unjustly released. Most will deserve to be fired. Baseball should bring in a modern day Kennesaw Mountain Landis and simply make the Juicers go away forever.

As for the records, there should be no asterisks, no footnotes. We should demand a complete erasure of all unfounded records of this era. The home run kings remain Maris and Aaron. Roger Clemens is not the best pitcher of all time. He simply doesn't exist to baseball. The Hall of Fame is given a holiday from history and inducts no one from the Juiced Decade.

With all the money in baseball, cheating is extremely tempting. The only way to end it is to make the punishment as harsh as the crime. Ostracize the cheaters. Ruin their careers and reputations. Wreck any way for them to benefit from the game.

Make it ugly, as ugly as their deformed bodies and swollen heads.

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