OK folks, so things have been pretty dreary around here, and other than Felix Hernandez's perfect game, things have been pretty dreary MLB wide. For the second year in a row, what was shaping up to be a spectacular NL batting title race as well as a NL MVP race has been tarnished. Sorry, but I still consider Ryan Braun's situation as a positive test. Even though he managed to finagle an acquittal out of it. This of course brings me to my question. More after the jump (holding out hope to make the front page :P)I like to call this the whats worse segment. We have seen a ton of just flat out bad baseball this year, especially recently with the Pirates. I think personally whats going in is an odd combination of bad luck and bad play, leading to some really bad baseball to watch. Not four weeks ago, the talk wasn't about breaking the streak, or coming close to breaking it. We were talking playoffs, and hopes were high for not only the playoffs but a deep run. Now a days however things are very very different. It feels like winning baseball in Pittsburgh is hanging on by a thread.
Elsewhere in the NL, Melky Cabrera came up hot for testosterone use. I haven't seen a report yet as to how high his levels were, but when he said, "My positive test was the result of my use of a substance I should not have used," Cabrera said in a statement issued by the MLB Players Association. "I accept my suspension under the Joint Drug Program and I will try to move on with my life. I am deeply sorry for my mistake and I apologize to my teammates, to the San Francisco Giants organization, and to the fans for letting them down." That tells me that not only did he violate the policy willingly, but he is ponying up to his massive lack of judgement. Of course that is the cookie cutter statement released by everyone who has popped hot nowadays, except one.
This brings me to Part one of my question, what is worse? Violating a policy knowingly, or knowingly taking a substance that is not only illegal nationally, but somehow not banned in a particular sport. Yes this goes back to the philosophical question that everybody asked themselves once news on rampant steroid abuse was exposed. I am of the camp that believes violating the policy is much more egregious now than it was before the policy was instituted. Why? Quite simply violating the policy now means that not only has the athlete chosen to disregard "the integrity of the game", but he also is violating a policy he has been fully briefed and trained on. He knows the policy is in place, he knows its intent, and yet he still commits the violation. Maybe because the athlete thinks he's above the policy, or he wont get caught. Either way it shows that the individual is selfish and narcissistic to a level that few ever reach. Including guys like Bonds and Clemens. To me, what guys like Melky Cabrera, Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriquez, Roger Clemens, Rafael Palmero, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGwire (along with a host of others who fall into this category) is reprehensible. However I don't feel that all infractions are equal. The guys who come up hot after the policy was implemented are not only knowingly cheating, but they are putting themselves above their team. They know if they get caught their ball club could be without a key player down the stretch. Whereas before, The guys who took the substance not only didn't cheat (technically) , but they didn't put themselves above their team.
The second part of my question is much less drawn out. Whats worse folks? Being in the lead for a wild card to come out of the All Star Break to play 300 ball, or being in the middle of the wildcard hunt all season?