Baseball may just be the dumbest sport on God’s green earth, not because the game is bad but because the people who run it display major league selfishness and short-sightedness. Here’s proof: a guy who reportedly took performance enhancing drugs owns the single season and lifetime home run records instead of two guys named Aaron, who won those honors fair and square.
Aaron Judge just hit his 62nd home run in a single season, eclipsing the American League record of 61, set by Roger Maris in 1961 (61 years ago, coincidentally). But does Judge enter the record book as baseball’s best? No, of course not. That honor belongs to a dishonorable hitter who, according to reports, took reportedly took PEDs because he wasn’t getting enough media attention. That same cheater also holds the record for most home runs ever, a distinction a different Aaron, this one named Hank, should never have lost.
In every other sport, if you cheat, you lose. Ask Lance Armstrong, whose 7 Tour de France titles were vacated because he used PEDs. Ask Reggie Bush, who lost his Heisman because he took payments that were illegal at the time. (Poor Reggie was just born too soon.). Rosie Ruiz notoriously had her Boston Marathon title stripped away when it turned out that she snuck onto the subway instead of running the full route. Sprinter Ben Johnson lost his Olympic gold medal when he failed his drug test.
AARON JUDGE HITS 62ND HOME RUN, PASSING ROGER MARIS FOR MOST IN A SEASON BY AMERICAN LEAGUE PLAYER
What does baseball do about its cheaters?
This is just one aspect of the absolute foolishness and even cowardice of Major League baseball’s leadership, but it’s hardly the only one.
Baseball is a golden goose of a sport that allows its owners to make the game worse and worse for the fans, to the point where the game today is all but unwatchable, even as team valuations and revenue continue to skyrocket. Spring training is often marred by labor wars, the unsavory sight of billionaires fighting millionaires. Strikes mean work stoppages, not good pitches or swings and misses.
AARON JUDGE ADMITS THERE WAS ‘DEFINITELY A LITTLE PRESSURE’ IN CHASE FOR 62
Major League Baseball has so many bad teams that the regular season today has no meaning. Too many cheap owners, too few decent pitchers, too many pitching changes. Instead of watching great pitchers painting the corners, we’re watching paint dry.
Back in the day, hitters were ashamed to strike out. Today, it’s all about launch angle. As long as you’re swinging for the fences, strikeouts aren’t shameful; just boring.
Aaron Judge’s teammate Gerrit Cole just tied Ron Guidry’s single season strikeout mark. Big deal. When Guidry was pitching, a strikeout meant something.
PRESIDENT BIDEN CONGRATULATES AARON JUDGE ON RECORD-BREAKING HOME RUN
These days, games go on forever. Why? Because the longer the game, the more beer they sell at the ballpark and the more commercial breaks on TV. Baseball with little more than strikeouts and home runs is dull beyond measure. Fewer and fewer men on base means increasing amounts of sitting around and waiting for something, anything, to happen. And that waiting is getting longer and longer.
Baseball’s greatest players are hidden away in smaller markets like Anaheim (Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout), Philadelphia (Bryce Harper), or Cleveland (Jose Ramirez). People say that Mike Trout is one of the best players since Babe Ruth. Nine out of ten Americans have never heard of him.
Baseball is called “the summer game” and is meant to be played in fair weather. Today, though, the night playoff and World Series games in October mean that you better bundle up (and bring your No-Doz) if you’re going to watch the games live and in person. This year, World Series Game 7 won’t take place until November 5, which is actually week 9 of the NFL season.
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The owners have never figured out how to market the sport to younger fans. Years ago, Ken Griffey, Jr. burst on the scene. How did baseball react to this charismatic, charming face of a new generation? With a collective shrug. They didn’t realize that people love stars, even if those stars wear their baseball caps backwards, which the Lords of Baseball back then took as an affront to the dignity of the game.
Aaron Judge is the one bright spot in baseball this year, where you have a half dozen teams that can afford stars and 24 teams that can’t or won’t compete financially. If reports are to be believed, Judge is what he appears to be — a decent guy, a team player, an athlete dedicated to constant improvement, and, dare I say it, a role model.
Will he remain a Yankee? Or go to the Mets, the Giants, or (cue Yankees fans clutching their pearls) the Red Sox? Whatever he chooses, he’ll earn prodigious sums and enjoy the love and attention of baseball fans across the nation.
But will today’s Lords of Baseball rectify a decades-old wrong and crown Aaron Judge the single-season home run leader and Hank Aaron the lifetime homerun king?
Given their dismal track record, baseball will mess this one up, too.
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Aaron Judge is a hit, a home run bashing, Triple Crown-chasing star.
The game he plays gets an E, for error, in every single at-bat.
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