There have been a lot of controversies coming up in Major League Baseball as of late and as a fan of the game, it almost makes me not want to watch. The controversy of the 2017 Houston Astros and 2018 Boston Red Sox of “illegally” stealing signs has blown up the baseball world. Three managers have been fired, players from each team has denied any wrongdoing and players from other teams want answers. Current players, former players and legends of the game have spoken out about these issues. The question regarding these issues is how long has baseball known about these issues? It’s no different than the steroids issue. Major League Baseball knew about steroids long before they took action and had rules about Performance Enhancing Drugs.
As we all know the Baseball Writers of America are hesitant and reluctant to vote those players who took steroids into the Hall of Fame. Although, I don’t agree ethically with what these players did, the blame cannot fully be on them. Baseball sat by and knew what was going on the entire time. When baseball went on strike in the mid-90’s, it hurt the sport in a lot of aspects and people were turned off from baseball. When did baseball get start gaining momentum again? It was 1998 when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa(who were on steroids) ended up shattering the single season Home Run Record by that was once held by Roger Maris. Three years later Barry Bonds(believed to be on steroids) ended breaking the single season Home Run Record which he still holds. Later on, he ultimately became the All-Time Home Runs Leader. There are many players who should be in the Hall of Fame that took steroids and I’ve gotten to a point to where they should be let in. It’s one thing if a player took steroids after the rules changed, but the players shouldn’t be punished during the time that baseball turned a blind eye to steroid use.
In regards to the sign stealing illegally, one has to wonder how long baseball has known about this? According to former MLB pitcher Jack McDowell, it’s been happening since the mid-80s with legendary manager Tony La Russa. If it comes that teams have been unethically stealing signs for thirty years, will the baseball writers hold a grudge against potential Hall of Fame players from those teams? If history is an indication than there might be a lot of people not getting into the Hall of Fame. These are simple cases of Major League Baseball turning a blind eye to these issues and shooting themselves in the foot later on for not addressing these issues as they happened. How will the 2017 Houston Astros and 2018 Boston Red Sox be remembered? Some fans will remember them as cheaters, others will think what they was smart and the historians may even exclude them from being honored for their overall careers.
Instead of arguing about whether or not Derek Jeter should have been voted in unanimously, we should be arguing that baseball ignored and allowed these issues to take place for a very long time. The Baseball Writers of America and other sports media personalities need to keep in mind that baseball let these players and teams get away with what they were doing without any consequences or punishment. At this point, I say put in the gamblers, the steroid users and those who stole signs. I don’t condone what Pete Rose and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson did, but you cannot deny their historical importance to the game. Some of these “controversial” athletes changed how the game is played and how it’s viewed. I say end the controversy, end the debates and let what happens on the field be the only the only thing that matters.