On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS June 10, 2013 #440 Up next…But why and for what?
After further review…From the time I was playing on the Washington grammar school playground all the way to being part of Super Bowl XI at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, I admired and wanted to be the best I could be. It wasn’t an effort to be better than others; it was just to be the best my God-given talent would allow me to be. Along that journey I admired those athletes who had achieved greatness at the college or professional level. It wasn’t stardom I was after. How those athletes achieved their success, the dedication and discipline they possessed, was the path I wanted to follow.
As I followed my dream, it was the game of baseball that most attracted me and while I never achieved much in that sport beyond college, the ambition to be the best I could be stayed with me. I still admire those who achieve at the higher levels. However, I learned to avoid those whose integrity didn’t live up to the standards I expected of them or of myself.
The wave of suspensions currently forming in MLB’s Biogenesis scandal troubles me. If, as reported in the media, baseball stars including Alex Rodriguez, the 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun, Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, and 2012 All-Star MVP Melky Cabrera among others are found (or refound, in some cases) culpable of violating MLB’s substance policies, it may do more damage to baseball than the 1919 World Series “Black Sox” scandal.
If the above mentioned do incur the toughened 100-game suspensions, America’s grand game will be dealt a serious blow. And it won’t be just to those players found guilty, but to the integrity of the sport and to the thousands of young players who admire what these players have accomplished. The latest phase of this exhausting controversy begs the question: just how important is winning, if gained through illegal means? Do our young athletes believe that an extra boost is needed to achieve a higher level?
The intent here is not to ignore due process and assign blame. But it can’t be overstated how crucial it is for talented athletes to understand that what they do and how they do it sends a message to others. They do have a responsibility for that!
Will you maintain a strong sense of integrity in whatever you do?