Bill James makes sense, go figure…

Ok, if you don’t know who [tag]Bill James[/tag] you won’t know why I’m thoroughly unsurprised that he would have something sensible to say about a hot topic in the world of baseball, and one I’ve touched on many times here – performance enhancing drugs.  But he’s still totally and completely right.  So, I’ll let the man speak for himself (from the DailyBulletin.com):

Q: Should players known to use (or strongly suspected to have used) performance-enhancing drugs be treated differently in history? Was the [tag]Baseball Writers Association of America[/tag] electorate correct in not voting [tag]Mark McGwire[/tag] to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot? Are you cheering for [tag]Barry Bonds[/tag]?

A: I’m not cheering for Bonds, but then, I didn’t much like (Henry) Aaron, either. I look at it this way. There’s a rule in basketball against traveling but [tag]the NBA[/tag] has pretty much stopped enforcing it. Well, they still call traveling but they will allow you to take about five steps without dribbling as you are running toward the basket. There was no “decision” not to enforce this rule; they just kind of lost track of it. They started not calling one step and progressed to not calling two steps, not calling three steps, and eventually they just kind of lost track of the rule. Should the players who took advantage of this failure to enforce the rule be banned from the NBA Hall of Fame? After all, aren’t they cheating? They’re not obeying the rules. [tag]Julius Erving[/tag], out. The Hall of Fame doesn’t need cheaters like you. [tag]Kobe[/tag], Michael, get out. If you don’t play by the rules the way [tag]Elgin Baylor[/tag] did, you’re not deserving.

Or it is, rather, the responsibility of the LEAGUE to enforce the rule? It seems to me that it might be the responsibility of the league to enforce the rule rather than the responsibility of the media to punish those who didn’t obey the rule that wasn’t being enforced. I won’t name any players, but there are a whole bunch of superstars who are now or are going to be involved in the PED accusations. We CAN’T start picking and choosing who we honor on that basis. It’s hypocritical, and it’s impractical. And it diminishes the game.

Bonds has hit more home runs than anybody else, or will have in a few weeks. That’s kind of the end of the story as far as I’m concerned.

Are you listening [tag]Bud Selig[/tag]?  Anyone?  Bueller?

Seriously folks, if the league looks the other way and the players know that no one’s paying attention then what’s the fuss about.  Let’s find something else to fuss about.

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