Do the Right Thing for Aaron and Maris • Latino Sports

Baseball

Do the Right Thing for Aaron and Maris

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Melky Cabrera,,,,Photo Bill Menzel/Latino Sports

It started with Marion Jones being stripped of her Olympic medals; it continued with s Lance Armstrong’s even Tour de France titles being taken back by the International Cycling Union and it continues on the Major League Baseball level.

San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera, who led the Major Leagues with a .346 batting average, decided to forfeit the batting title and MLB happily accepted his offer.  The league omitted Cabrera’s name from the National League batting leaders as if it never happened.  It’s like Melky never existed, until you look further down the statistics.  On the leagues leaders in triples, Cabrera’s name appears in the number six slot with 10 triples.  The leader is his teammate Angel Pagan with 15 three baggers.

Why does MLB recognize Cabrera for his 10 triples but keeps him invisible as the top average, which now belongs to another teammate in Buster Posey who hit .336.  It’s all because Melky said so and MLB embraced his wishes before he changed his mind.  Did we mention that Cabrera was serving a 50 game suspension imposed by MLB after he tested positive for high levels of testosterone?  Isn’t that the same testosterone that homerun leader Barry Bonds and at one time single season homerun leader Mark McGuire eventually admitted to using?  With Jones and Armstrong being stripped of their rewards because of performance enhancing drugs and MLB’s acceptance of Cabrera refusing to wear the batting crown, the time is now for MLB to right what is wrong.

The American Pastime has been tarnished lately and it’s time for Commissioner Bud Selig to bring the integrity back to the game.  Out of all the records in the major sports, the homerun stat takes the cake.  Most points in basketball, most touchdowns in football, and most goals in hockey are secondary next to the “Homerun King.”

For years Babe Ruth held the title at 714 a number that rolled off everyone’s tongue.  In 1974, Hank Aaron’s 715th blast was on national television and the drama leading up to that historic homerun was followed by the nation.  Enter Barry Bonds who thirty three years later hit 756 to surpass Aaron’s lifetime mark and be crowned the new “Homerun King,” but unlike Aaron’s record breaker there was little fanfare and hardly any interest.  As NY Yankee Alex Rodriguez stands at 115 homeruns behind Bonds’ lifetime total of 762, with 647, the countdown to the next “Homerun King” is even less intriguing to everyone.  Blame the cheating as the commissioner’s job is to police this problem.

If Selig can take Cabrera’s batting title off the record why can’t he appoint Hank Aaron the same homerun king that he once was?  Selig will do the game justice by bringing back “61”, the recognized top homerun number in a single season that was owned by Roger Maris and surpassed by testosterone users Mark McGuire with 70 in 1998 and Sammy Sosa, three times with 66 in 1998, 63 in 1999 and 64 in 2001.  Suspected user Bonds, who admitted he thought he was taking a flax oil type of vitamin, eventually shattered those records with 73 in 2001.  Please Commissioner Selig do the game justice and strip these comic book numbers and witness how your legacy will be right up there with the greats of the game of the pre-steroid era.  By accepting these “records” you are justifying the actions of this rotten core.  You didn’t hesitate with the Melky mess after he was the one that suggested it.  With other sports waking up to their tarnished situations, it’s time to do the right thing for the true trailblazers of this great game.

What do you think?

About Aris Sakellaridis