Are you still ready to lynch Alex Rodriguez? Okay. Tell me: How do you feel about Lance Armstrong? Bear in mind that cycling's governing body has a failed Lance Armstrong drug test on record, and though he contests it and will sue anyone who writes about it, I think it's safe to say that nobody in Europe takes the denial seriously. Numerous witnesses have gone on record that he doped. I don't write this here to impugn Lance Armstrong—I'm a huge Armstrong fan. Doping was a pandemic in cycling when he was in the midst of his run of Tour de France victories. I can hardly think of a top rider who wasn't busted. So in a flawed system, Armstrong dominated. Seven Tour wins in a row. The achievement is almost beyond comprehension, nevermind the allegations of drug use, and nevermind the fact that he did it after recovery from cancer. Of course, that last fact, and all of the positive work he has done (along with his litigious nature), has saved his public image, at least in the US, though he too has had his messy divorce played out in the tabs, and he, too, has been linked with a rock star or two. Whatever. If you admire Lance Armstrong, and I don't see how any rational person cannot, than I'm not sure how you can demonize Alex Rodriguez.
Alex and Lance
Another point. I see a lot in print about how this generation of ballplayers has forever soiled the Hall of Fame, as if that were some kind of institution beyond reproach. Yes, the Hall is going to have to figure out how to deal with the likes of Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Clemens, and Alex. But we all have that problem, don't we, and inasmuch as the Hall is a tool of MLB, we can say the organization has brought the problem upon itself. But let me also point out a misperception. The Hall of Fame was not established to honor the greatest players in the game. It was established to promote baseball. The fact that anyone will be talking about baseball, about the hall, who deserves to be in, and who doesn't, is prima facie a victory for the Hall.