Why is MLB bothering with these expensive, intrusive "tests" when they could just have Yahoo! Sports columnists ask Roger Maris' family?
Also: both Passan and Dan Wetzel wrote columns about Maris/Howard mere hours after Tom Verducci filed his on SI.com. It's fun to compare and contrast, and I'm not hinting at plagiarism at all, just referring to writing chops. Check it.
You can, as commissioner Bud Selig does, choose to accept their records as legitimate because you would rather not wade into the dirty morass of the Steroid Era. You would rather not be left to make impossibly difficult calls and, especially in the commissioner's case, invite judgments of culpability on yourself. Like most difficulties in life, it's much easier to do nothing, a part of human nature that explains how baseball owners and the union squandered trust and faith in the game in the first place. Their crime, framed by revisionists as some grand conspiracy to keep the turnstiles spinning, actually was one of passivity.
I'm not going to pretend it didn't happen. I'm not assigning full value to their numbers. They were the best of their generation, and that deserves some respect. But I refuse to hold them up as the all-time standard-bearers of the sport.
Baseball is loath to admit that it blew it during the late 1990s and early 2000s when Bonds, McGwire and Sosa – each as juiced as a glass of squeezed oranges – made a mockery of the record book and spit in the face of Maris' accomplishment.
But every reasonable, intelligent and rational person knows otherwise. Those three's numbers were achieved not with natural skill but with superior chemistry.
...baseball fans should flock to Howard's historic pursuit. If MLB lacks the courage and conviction to do what's right, then the people should, out of respect for Ryan Howard and out of respect for Roger Maris.
ESPN should be cutting in for each at bat, newspapers should chronicle the count down, the honest should be celebrated, the cheats ignored.
Anything less is to reward the crooked and condemn the truth.
Mmmm, that's good hackery. It's like Wetzel submitted Verducci's column word-for-word, but then his editor instructed him: "ditch the shades of grey bullshit; insult everyone who doesn't see things the exact same way as you; throw in a couple of lame similes; and finish with an overwrought conclusion. Oh, and don't forget to imply that "chemistry" could make any one of us a 65HR hitter."