The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

July 31, 2013

Future penalties only way to preserve game’s past



If they’re not playing the game of Hank Aaron and Johnny Bench, of Nolan Ryan and Tom Seaver, of Willie Stargell and Ricky Henderson, of Thurman Munson and Lou Brock, of Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays … if they’re not doing that, the game’s connection to its past is lost.

Already it’s been strained by the expanding noggin and immortal on-base and slugging percentages of Barry Bonds, bullied by the unnaturally strong forearms of Mark McGwire and assaulted by the age-defying effectiveness and sociopathic zeal of Roger Clemens.

Yet, because baseball has gotten it right — and the players union has gotten out of the way — for the last several years, it has recovered in a way that may not be as exciting as the great home run chase of 1998, but that is far more real.

Now, at least, we can give Miguel Cabrera’s triple crown the benefit of the doubt and Chris Davis’ 38 home runs the appropriate amount of wonder.

When I spoke to Cochell and saluted him for being better to the game than I’ve been since the days I covered his team, I didn’t only tell him that I can’t make myself watch it any more.

I also told him it’s still my favorite sport to read about, talk about and listen to on the radio. Because I don’t have to watch it to honor it.

And none of that would be true if baseball had given up on itself and given in to the freak show it had become when McGwire, Clemens and Bonds appeared first to be cheating time when what they were really doing was cheating the game.

So when they throw A-Rod out forever or for the rest of this season and maybe all of the next one, and when they deliver justice to Cruz, Colon and Peralta, it will not be a sad day for the game.

Their misdeeds may be mourned. Not their departures.

The game, its past and present, demands justice.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • 498415327SB20543_Sky_Shock Paris didn’t give up when instant success eluded her

    TULSA — It looked like it came easily to Courtney Paris. The minute she stepped foot on the campus at the University of Oklahoma in 2005, it seemed she was already an All-American and destroying the competition in the Big 12 and across the ...

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three Tigers competing for quarterback

    While some teams have had questions surrounding the quarterback position in recent years, Norman High has seen relative stability. Thanks to a three-year run by Zach Long followed up by Jakcob Dean’s ascendance last season, the Tigers ...

    July 31, 2014

  • Brace yourselves for what is likely bumpy road to playoffs

    In October of 2005, back when Butch Peters had Norman High ranked No. 5 on the gridiron and Karin Sexson had Norman North ranked No. 1 on the volleyball court, I wrote a column under the headline: “Two great teams … Who cares.” It was all ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Clash Football It’s a whole new ball game for Tigers and Timberwolves

    With just over two weeks until football practice officially begins Aug. 11, everyone is busy preparing for the upcoming season. After all, it’s one that will be unlike any other....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • USA Basketball Durant tells media that he’s not looking too far ahead

    While most of the NBA’s offseason has been focused on players going home, max contracts and who gets Kevin Love, the reigning MVP has been pretty low key. Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant has stayed in the shadows for the most part while ...

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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