Aaron is true home run king | NevadaAppeal.com

Aaron is true home run king

Joe Ellison
Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist

There are die-hard Major League Baseball fans out there that feel Senator George Mitchell’s investigation into the use of performance-enhancing drugs was a complete waste of time and money. They don’t care who injected what, how many records were broken, or if the players start dropping dead in the next few years. These fans will love and defend MLB no matter what.

But many other sports fans like myself are very interested in Mitchell’s findings. They want to learn more specifics about who used what, when and for how long.

If there was ever any doubt, we should all know by now that steroids such as “the cream,” “the clear” and Human Growth Hormone boost athletic performance. To consider any milestone achieved with the use of such drugs equal to that of an accomplishment done without their use is a total insult. The true home run king is still Henry Aaron, and the single-season record holder is still Roger Maris, not Barry Bonds.

Treating these and other records attained with the use of steroids as equal sends the message to children that it really is OK to cheat. But steroids are extremely dangerous drugs with side effects that can lead to premature death. We shouldn’t turn around and immortalize these athletic feats in any way.

The solution to the problem isn’t easy. We either need to eliminate and ignore all the numbers that were generated unnaturally, or we need to create a second record list. If we need to put asterisks next to the illegal numbers, that’s fine too. As long as we acknowledge that they really shouldn’t count.

When Barry Bonds tells us that his records “are not tainted in any way,” it’s just like a slap in the face. Barroid and other drug users must think we’re stupid. It was the wrong thing to do, they knew it was wrong, and they did it anyway. It’s time we fix their “mistakes” in the record books.

As for the Hall of Shame, er, Hall of Fame, sadly one day it will have to make room for these cheats. Hopefully it’s one separate dark room, appropriately in the basement.

And what about Bonds’ home run ball No. 756? It is headed to Cooperstown branded with an asterisk. It wasn’t “some idiot” who decided to do that either. After 10 million votes, it is the American people who have spoken. That asterisk will deservedly send a message loud and clear to every man, woman and child who sees it Ð we “idiots” know you cheated.

In the Olympics, records and medals are stripped from known cheaters. In cycling’s Tour de France, just the suspicion of drug use is enough to remove competitors. If only MLB would one day take the lead in this fight against hazardous drugs and do the same. Well, we can dream about it, can’t we?

BOWL GAMES

When making predictions on college football’s bowl games, besides using gut feelings, I factor in a team’s conference and schedule, home field advantage or strength on the road, coaching, injuries and suspensions, bowl history, offensive and defensive statistics, and team motivation. Last year unfortunately for me prediction-wise, that all added up to a terrible bowl season. But that’s what happens sometimes when you try to pick all 32 games. Here are some predictions anyway:

New Orleans Ð Florida Atlantic coach Howard Schnellenberger has a history of building football programs. I’m trying FAU -2 1/2 against Memphis.

Papa Johns Ð Southern Mississippi coach Jeff Bower is a lame duck. I’m picking Cincinnati -10 1/2.

New Mexico Ð It should help Nevada that New Mexico’s top two running backs have been suspended, and coach Rocky Long is 0-4 in bowls. I’ll take Nevada +3 or on the money line.

Las Vegas Ð UCLA coach Karl Dorrell has already been sent packing. Going with BYU -5.

Hawaii Ð The Boise State players must back up their decision to their fans to shun a cold home game, and play in beautiful but expensive Hawaii. I’ll take Boise -11 vs East Carolina.

Motor City Ð Hopefully this game goes much like the first time they met this year, when Purdue beat Central Michigan 45-22. I’ll take Purdue -8.

Holiday Ð Texas is on a current 5-1 bowl streak, but the Longhorns own a terrible pass defense, so I’ll go with Texas and Arizona State to go over 62 points.