Today I open the sports page and two things simply hit me hard.
The first was the story on Donte Stallworth and the second was a story on Sammy Sosa. On the surface they may not seem like earth shattering pieces, but as I thought more about these two athletes I began to realize that these stories really were bothering me.
I see Donte Stallworth will probably spend about a month behind bars. From what I read, he was intoxicated. His Bentley hit the deceased and Stallworth got out, called the authorities and did all the “right” things.
Correct me here if I am wrong.
He was a drunk driver who hit a pedestrian with his car! The man died due to his drunken negligence. That is a crime no matter how you spin it. It is what it is; Stallworth has minimal jail time and an undisclosed settlement with the victim’s family.
Here’s what bothers me. Michael Vick just spent about two years behind bars. He killed no one with his car. Nobody was shot by this man. Mr. Vick ran a dog fighting operation. Dogs were killed, not people! And this man did quite a bit more time than Mr. Stallworth will.
Is human life worth less than that of our canine counterparts? So it seems.
How can we as a society punish a man for killing canines, yet barely punish another for taking the life of another person? I am very perplexed.
Next I read about how Sammy Sosa lied about “being on the juice.” No joke!
Who didn’t he lie to? Now, he’s worried about getting into the Hall. Give me a break.
In 1998 Sosa and Mark McGwire set the National League on fire as they launched baseballs out of parks at an alarming pace. Sosa hit 66 home runs and McGwire poked 70 dingers that year. Those two alone brought fans back to the stands to help bring baseball back after some lean years.
But both were “juicers.” Both used performance enhancing drugs to help them attain the remarkable home run totals.
Sosa and McGuire were not the only cheaters of their era though. Jose Conseco has written two books about the goings on of the time. Roger Clemens has been accused of using illegal substances. The all-time home run king Barry Bonds too is a supposed abuser.
Do yourself a favor. Take a look at a photo of any of these players in there rookie seasons and then again 10 to 15 years later. The difference is remarkable.
Are these players cheaters? I think so.
They took illegal drugs to enhance their performances. Compare any of these players to Hank Aaron and it’s embarrassing. Aaron hit 715 big flies on his own!
Do these players deserve the Hall of Fame? They all will be considered.
They have gained their “Hall of Fame” numbers by using illegal substances. Is it fair?
Here is what I think is very unfair. Pete Rose has never used an illegal substance, yet he will probably never be on any ballot.
The major league leader in hits admittedly bet on his team to win. Rose admitted he initially lied in the Dowd Report. He has never cheated anyone at any time.
His “crime” was betting on baseball. He did not bet against his team. He bet on his team to win. He didn’t fix games. He didn’t do anything that was deemed underhanded.
He simply went against the code of baseball; “Thou shalt not bet on baseball.”
You can take drugs to hit the ball farther, but you cannot bet on your team to win if you want to get into the Hall of Fame. I don’t understand!
Reading the paper in the morning usually is a time of relaxation. This morning I think it just upset me.
I would greatly appreciate comments!!!
Tyrd Ferguson – VSN Writer
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