Say It Ain't So

For anyone looking for wisdom, Thomas Sowell is always there. His take on the Mitchell Report (in contrast to mine below) is that keeping the cheaters out of the Hall of Fame is enough. But his larger point is that we live in a society that applies "innocent until proven guilty" to all matters, legal or otherwise.

"All the ballplayers accused of throwing the 1919 World Series were acquitted in a court of law — and all were nevertheless banned from baseball for life anyway by the commissioner of baseball.

In a sense, that ban applied not only for life but beyond death. None of those players has been put in the Baseball Hall of Fame, even though Shoeless Joe Jackson hit .408 at his peak and left a lifetime batting average of .356.

That was long before we became so sophisticated that we learned to come up with excuses for those who violate rules and additional excuses for those who refuse to impose penalties."

I tend to think that these guys should be banned from baseball, including wiping their records from the books and banning them from representing the game in any way. Sowell may be more realistic than I.

But the bigger point is the same. Until we treat these people like the cheaters they are, we will continue to encourage this kind of behavior.