At the Cardinals Winter Warm-up fan-fest, confessed cheater, liar, and steroid abuser Mark McGwire was given a hero's welcome back to St. Louis this past weekend. Meanwhile, Jack Clark, someone who spoke his mind and told the truth about steroids, was booed.
What is the baseball world coming to? Has the whole world gone crazy?
Cardinals fans aren't the only ones who are guilty of this. While Barry Bonds was tarnishing the baseball record books and avoiding perjury charges in the 2007 season, San Francisco Giants fans greeted him with a standing ovation nearly every time he took the plate.
Alex Rodriguez was given a hero's welcome back to New York after admitting to steroids last offseason, and let's not forget the blind love Dodgers fans gave to Manny Ramirez after a suspension for testing positive for steroids, as was his former teammate David Ortiz after his name was on the 2003 positive test list.
Something needs to be done to prevent fans from embarrassing themselves and prevent steroids apologists from voting them into the Hall of Fame.
The only thing that can be done is impose a lifetime ban for players who test positive for steroids and other PEDs, are found with steroids or other PEDs, or admit to taking steroids or other PEDs.
Is the punishment of a lifetime ban proportional for taking steroids? Probably not, but looking at this from a criminological stand point, when you have a crime taking place that cannot be controlled, harsher punishments must be handed out.
The only way to truly rid the game of steroids is to scare players away from doing them because 50 games clearly is not.
Originally, the scorn of the fans was supposed to be part of the punishment, but as long as the players say they were using it to recover from injuries, apologize to the fans, admit your mistake, and pretend to be sad, the fans will forgive you and give you a rousing ovation when you make your return.
Will this happen? Probably not.
But when your favorite player tests positive for steroids, do the right thing and boo him for damaging the game that you love.