Skewed

Well, the new inductees to Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame were announced yesterday. As usual, more discussion was generated concerning those who didn’t get in than those who did–in particular, Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. There seems to be growing momentum for allowing in these two megastars, even though they were users of PEDs. The argument seems to be that while, yes, they cheated, they were were shoo-in hall of famers before they started taking the stuff.

Let me see if I have this straight. By this “logic,” Richard Nixon was a pretty good president before Watergate and so shouldn’t have been forced from office; a husband who has been faithful to his wife for 20 years should suffer no consequences if he decides later to cheat on her; and a successful Wall Street executive who chooses at the end of his career to bilk his clients out of their life savings should not go to jail.

This kind of “reasoning” makes no sense in any realm of human existence, so why should it hold sway when considering which baseball players deserve to be inducted into the Hall of Fame? One of the criteria for induction is that the player be of good character, after all. Cheating says exactly the opposite. Yes, it is a tragedy when those who are otherwise great throw their advantages away in a moment of weakness, but life is full of tragedy. Why should baseball be exempt?

Those who cheated with PEDs were able to prolong their careers, pad their stats, win championships crookedly, make astronomical salaries under false pretenses (not a dime of which has been repaid), keep honest players off rosters, rip off the fans who paid for fair competition, and destroy the integrity of the game, which depends in no small measure on the sport’s statistics … which are now hopelessly skewed.

And if we allow these cheaters into the Hall, what are we saying to young people who see them as role models? That it is okay–and even preferable–to cheat, even if you get caught? When did we completely dispense with the character-building aspect of sport? And when did we decide that pro baseball is indistinguishable from pro wrestling?

Keep them out.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for BreakPoint.org. He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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