As someone who only recently started to watch baseball, I can't say I've known the game before the PED scandals... so recent news do not affect as much as it probably does to guys like you two. However, it is a shame to see the discussion of such a beautiful game revolving around cheating, bans, and stuff like that - it's annoying and truly saddening.
I still think a greater debate over PEDs is necessary, I think the definition of a thing such as 'doping' is quite subjective and up for discussion. Anyway, it's undeniable that the ethics and the image of the game have been severely damage with all these scandals in recent years.
By the way, what do you guys think of Barry Bonds omission in the HOF?
First off, Bonds should NOT be in HOF. Neither Mark McGuire or Sosa or any of those guys. Although MLB is just as responsible for this mess as the players are.
Here is my theory. I'll try and be as brief as possible. Goes back to the strike of 1995. It was the FIRST time the World Series was not played in history of the sport. Hell they even played them during WW2. MLB took a tremendous PR hit for this. Fans stayed away. MLB needed something to create a new interest in the game.
Roger Maris had the single season HR record with 61. In 162 games. (also Mickey Mantle hit 54 that year, before some injuries late in the season) Babe Ruth had the record before , in 1927, I believe, with 60, but it was a 154 game schedule then. Lots of true MLB fans still believed Ruth was the HR king, as he did it in less games. MLB the put an asterix next to Maris' record. Kinda to appease both sides of the argument. A little off track here.
MLB believed that a similar HR chase to the record would increase popularity, and it did. In 1998 Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa both passed Maris record in the same season. If memory serves, Mark hit 70 and Sammy 68 that year. But the popularity of the race itself seemed to bring MLB back to the front page, as the NFL had and still has passed MLB in the States.
I believe MLB knew exactly what was going on. It was no secret these guys were juicing. But the fans didn't really care, because it was exciting and the casual fan loved the fact that the game had become all offense. Personally , a well pitched 2-1 or 1-0 game is more exciting than a 8-7 game. But I'm more of a traditionalist.
Now think about it, Ruth's record stood over from 1927-1961. Then Maris record stood from 1961-1998. We are talking decades. Then all of a sudden TWO guys break it in the same year, couldn't be coincidence. Then similar HR numbers continued to happen and Bonds hit 73. Now even casual fans started thinking, something's wrong here. Even guys that would avg 10-15 HR's a season were suddenly hitting 40-50. We all know training methods have improved since the 60's but this was ridiculous.
Fact is MLB wanted this, it brought huge amounts of attention on the game, and attendance increased. They basically turned a blind eye to the whole situation because of the money they were making.
In a nutshell, MLB allowed, or even encouraged this to happen. For PROFIT. Then it just got so out of hand they had to step in and "appear" to put a stop to it. Even though, in reality , they were responsible for it. Kinda get what i'm sayin?
I think it is sad Diego, but I also believe that baseball in 2013 is closer to what it was supposed to be. So in that way, it's better. Old phrase "good pitching always beats good hitting" is back. It's getting back now to what it used to be like.
Hope this answers some of your questions.
If you get a chance, I know recently MLB has put dozens of full game broadcasts on U-Tube. Mostly World Series and playoffs. Going all the way back to the 1950's.
Search under the MLBClassics channel.
This was always one of my favorites,I was at this game and the atmosphere was indescribable. Yankees win first WS in 18 years. The crowds are just not like this anymore. Maybe compare Anfield in the 70's and 80's to now.1996 World Series, Game 6: Braves @ Yankees