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Gutless Wonders
Rick Reilly
August 15, 2005
Homeland security in this country is abysmal. Look at the infiltration of baseball alone.
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August 15, 2005

Gutless Wonders

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Good god, no! These cheats won't get into the Hall until the second ballot? How will they ever be able to face themselves in the mirrors of their Hummers? Can you imagine saying, "O.K., Pete Rose bet on baseball, an act that undermines the very credibility of the game. Let's not vote him in until the second ballot!"

Some baseball writers, such as's Jayson Stark, don't think steroid use should count against a player. He wrote last week that he would vote Palmeiro into the Hall "first ballot, every ballot." And do you know why? "Because I'm not a cop," Stark wrote. "I'm just a guy who covers baseball for a living. So it's not my job to police this sport. It's the sport's job to police itself."

Aren't you glad Stark wasn't covering President Nixon for The Washington Post in 1972? "It's not my job to police the White House," Stark would've said. "It's the White House's job to police itself."

Hey, Jayson, Journalism 101: You are a watchdog. If it were up to baseball, every hitter would get four strikes, with his mom pitching and outfield fences set up for Wiffle ball.

Baseball writers coddle players because they have to cover them every day for eight months a year. They spend so much time with these undereducated, overpharmacied brats that they begin thinking like them. They even write the players' alibis for them: "But there was no rule against it then!" Every writer and every player knows that using steroids to pump up your numbers is flat-out immoral, unethical and wrong. And that includes Bonds, Palmeiro, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Mark McGwire and every other player who has flunked a steroid test or admitted taking steroids in grand jury testimony or admitted taking androstenedione, which metabolizes into testosterone in the system.

Bottom line: They cheated. Which means their numbers are dirtier than Don't vote the rats in.

(Did you ever think it'd come to this--the most honest voice in baseball would belong to Jose Canseco?)

You know what every Hall voter should do to Bonds and Palmeiro and the rest? Wag his finger at the players and bark, "You're never getting into Cooperstown. Period!"

Instead, most of them will go back to their permanent Fantasy Camp, where only players' stats count, not how they got them, and where players contract steroids off toilet seats.

"I have no clue [where the steroids came from]," Seattle Mariners pitcher Ryan Franklin said last week, after he was suspended for 10 games for a positive test. "It's hard to swallow."

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