Volume 93, Issue 82

Tuesday, March 7, 2000


SPORTS

Western hits road block en route to nationals

Hockey sets sights on CIAU gold

Dear baseball: You just lost a fan

Dear baseball: You just lost a fan



My cynicism regarding professional sports was starting to fade this year as I saw sport franchises and leagues take a hard line against players who go against their best interests of the teams.

I began to see the world of sports changing for the better – displaying the old nobility which used to go hand in hand with sports. However, this new view has sadly ended and I have become jaded once again, specifically with the world of Major League Baseball.

When MLB commissioner Bud Selig suspended Atlanta Braves pitcher John Rocker for a month and did not allow him to attend spring training, my faith in the world of sports was renewed. Selig creacked down on a player who demonstrated he not only deserved to never play in the majors again, but that he was a human being lacking every quality which makes a person good and noble. That all changed Thursday morning.

I came into work and read the sports page only to see the picture of Rocker making a statement after his suspension was shortened to 14 days and his fine decreased from $20,000 to a mere $500. He was allowed to go to spring training and was shown tossing a baseball around with his teammates. Seems fine, doesn't it? However, it is far from a perfect situation for the Braves.

It does not matter how many times Rocker apologizes for his comments, he must show remorse with actions, not words. How will he ever justify his comments to his teammates? How will the Braves be able to protect the man as he goes from city to city, from rabid and angry fans?

I have a solution for the Rocker situation. If he plays in your major league city, don't go – don't even watch him on television. Personally, I will never watch another game which involves the Braves until they get rid of Rocker – I will also boycott watching whichever team is foolish enough to pick up this player.

Back to my larger point – Selig made a tough, but fair decision, yet some arbitrator decided in favour of Rocker.

Way to go baseball.

Let's take a hard line and then back away. The suspension was fair and just. Why go against it? One reason given was the first amendment – freedom of speech. Despite rights to free speech, that speech should not infringe on the rights of others and Rocker's comments did just that – he infringed upon the rights of minorities with his stupid, ignorant comments.

I am no longer a fan of baseball. I had so much respect for the MLB and I finally saw baseball washing away the stain of the 1994 baseball strike. I was so optimistic for the way the world of professional sports was going – I don't feel that way anymore.

I did not give up on baseball when the strike occurred in '94 and I watched the next few years with interest – but after the reduction of Rocker's suspension, I officially give up on the game.

I guess it's time for me to find a new summer pastime.


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Copyright The Gazette 2000