The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

July 31, 2013

Future penalties only way to preserve game’s past

NORMAN — The day Pete Hughes was introduced as Oklahoma’s new baseball coach, I found myself having a conversation with Larry Cochell for the first time in too long.

I asked him if he watched baseball on television. He said he did. I told him that I wish I still could, but it seems that I can’t. It’s a character flaw, I’m pretty sure.

Blame the genius of Pete Rozelle and Paul Tagliabue or the instantaneous age we live in, but I’m convinced baseball couldn’t be invented today with much fanfare or success. 

Indeed, it’s likely a tribute to past dominance and the mythology built around it that continues to prop the game up in second or third place on America’s athletic landscape.

Also, it is a nod to that history that demands Major League Baseball continue to do everything it possibly can to rid itself of performance enhancing drugs and performance enhancing drug users.

Even if it means suspending Alex Rodriguez for the rest of his natural born life. Even if it means robbing Texas of Nelson Cruz for the rest of the season. Even if it means stealing Bartolo Colon from the wonderful story that’s again the Oakland Athletics or robbing the Tigers of shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who’s hitting .308 and slugging .460.

It’s a funny thing when so many commentators explain baseball’s tragedy of the moment, that in the middle of a fine season, with terrific races and great stories, that the game is nonetheless suffering “another black eye.”

Wrong.

Every day is a good day to clean up the game. Every day is a good day to underline baseball’s connection to its glorious past, something the game should never be ashamed to wrap itself in.

Football may have the violence most Americans crave and basketball may claim the most athleticism, but neither has one fifth of baseball’s history and that history has to be protected and the best way to do that is to be forever vigilant in the moment.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • Tang making a splash on state level

    The Sooner Swim Club has produced a long string of great athletes in Norman. Norman North has won back-to-back state championships and senior Justin Wu owns several state records and last week qualified for the U.S. National swim meet. The ...

    July 29, 2014

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • OSSAA releases enrollment figures

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association released the preliminary 2014-15 ADM for classification purposes Friday and not much has changed for many of the area schools. Moore (2,265), Norman North (2,180), Westmoore (2,090), ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Swim regionals 1 Norman North’s Justin Wu qualifies for U.S. national

    Justin Wu made history last week when he qualified for the U.S. national swim meet. A senior at Norman North, Wu already owned several state records when he outpaced a field of college swimmers in the event....

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woodard joins successful soccer team in Stillwater

    Haley Woodard has been one of the preeminent multi-sport stars in the state for several years. The Norman North senior is a state champion in track and soccer and has been an integral part of a basketball team that’s been to back-to-back ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Posturing, predictions fly as conference plans for new season

    There’s plenty to enjoy about the Southeastern Conference’s annual cattle call in Hoover, Ala., where media of every description join players and coaches from each of the league’s 14 football teams to discuss the coming season. The best ...

    July 18, 2014

  • Roberson2 66ers heading south

    The last five years, the Oklahoma City Thunder have had an unsung hero in their rise to the top of the NBA. Along with the talents of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, the franchise has had the services of one of the best developmental ...

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • NHS at Midwest City 6 Point guard taking on a new role in Tigers’ summer basketball league

    It’s a summer of change for Norman High basketball....

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU dominates in preseason, receiving 47 of 56 first-place votes in early poll

    Oklahoma will start the season as the overwhelming favorite to win the Big 12 Conference....

    July 18, 2014

  • Thunder V Denver Thunder add guard Morrow in deliberate, selective free agency

    Oklahoma City hasn’t been the busiest place during the NBA free agency period. However, it may have been among the pickiest. The Thunder officially signed free agent guard Anthony Morrow to a contract Wednesday. The 6-foot-5, 210-pound ...

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo